Last part of ‘good side’, despite blip

Stephen Last  is hoping to bounce back this weekend for Southern United against Auckland City....
Stephen Last is hoping to bounce back this weekend for Southern United against Auckland City. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Stephen Last knows one bad game does not make a bad team.

That has been key for Southern United to remember this week.

Coming off its worst loss in three years — a 6-1 drubbing by Eastern Suburbs — it faces its toughest possible bounce-back game.

The team will tomorrow be away against Auckland City,

a side which has won all nine of its games and  conceded just seven goals all season.

While last weekend was hardly a confidence booster, a game earlier in the season was.

The score was  0-0 and Southern was looking strong when its previous match against Auckland City was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch.

"You can take lots of positives out of the game at the Caledonian," Last (27) said.

"We were well on top in that game, so we just need to make sure we approach it the same way.

"Auckland are a very good side. We’re also a good side. The defeat last week doesn’t mean we’re not a good side.

"It was a blip, it was one of those types of games. We’ve got to make sure we still believe in ourselves and we definitely do."

The gritty centre back has had another solid season for Southern, and has been a key part of what has mostly been a tough  defensive line to break down.

That line-up has added experienced hands in Erik Panzer and Markus Fjortoft this season, both of whom  Last said had been great additions.

He was disappointed with last week, the result the side’s worst since he arrived from Ireland two and a-half seasons ago.

However, the way the team bounced back was more important, he said.

Last felt the team had trained well this week and said there was good character in the dressing room which had helped.

While Auckland City posed a tough turnaround, he felt it could also be a big opportunity.

"People will say it’s not an easy game to recover. But it’s also a big challenge and if we get a result here it could be a big turnaround as well.

"So I’m looking forward to it, the lads are looking forward to it.

"It’s away, it’s going to be a battle, but every game in this league is tough.

"We just need to make sure we give it 100%."

Still enjoying his time in Dunedin, Last is planning to stay  longer. He believes the club still has big potential and is hoping to keep building on that.

Southern remains in seventh spot on the national premiership table on 10 points, two points behind Hawke’s Bay United.

Auckland City has been in ominous form and comes off a 2-0 win over Waitakere United.

It has added a former Southern United player to its squad. Omar Guardiola, who was injured throughout most of the first round, has made the shift north during the latest transfer period.


National premiership
Southern Utd v Auckland City

Kiwitea Street, Auckland
Tomorrow, 2pm

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