Striker Oskar Zawada included in Phoenix squad for trip to Newcastle Jets

Striker Oskar Zawada could come off the bench for the Wellington Phoenix in Saturday’s match against the Newcastle Jets, after his recovery from a thigh injury.

Zawada (27) has been sidelined since December 9 but head coach Giancarlo Italiano has confirmed the Polish forward will be part of the Phoenix matchday squad.

“Oz is a prolific striker and very effective and he gives us an option off the bench, a different dynamic to how we play but I will use him according to how the game pans out,” Italiano told a media briefing.

“It is valuable to have someone like that come off the bench.”

The Phoenix are the surprise leaders in the men’s A-League and have relied on All Whites forward Kosta Barbourses for goals in Zawada’s absence.

Italiano is comfortable that the pair can add combine to good effect.

“He (Zawada) can bring play in from high-pressure situations and he’s a little bit more direct but I think Kosta complements him well and if I do bring Oz on I will make sure I still play to Kosta’s strengths.”

Fixture

Games to be played on Saturday January 27, 2024

Men’s A-League

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, 8pm (NZT)

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