Check out the points table for the ISPS Handa Premiership ... the Hawke's Bay United football team's statistics in particular.

Eighth place. Played four, one draw, three losses, no wins, three goals for, 11 against and one competition point. Dismal reading.

Thirsty Whale Hawke's Bay United wouldn't be in this position if all of the squad displayed the same levels of intensity and commitment as midfielder Dan Allan produced during last weekend's 2-0 loss to Hamilton Wanderers in Napier.

Although the hosts were outplayed and definitely out of the running for a draw at least after 70 minutes Allan stuck to his task for the full game and refused to throw the towel in.


The former Tasman United player, who turned out for Wairarapa United in last winter's Central League, had the right physicality levels. In other words he set an example for his teammates to follow but they didn't.

If his teammates fail to match Allan's commitment levels tomorrow they will suffer another loss when they take on top-of-the-table Team Wellington at David Farrington Park in the capital.

It will be interesting if Hawke's Bay United have any variation to their set plays as this was lacking last weekend.

The side also needs some quality on-field leadership. This was non-existent.

More chatter among the players is a must. While the side's quest to return to the top four has been dashed there is plenty of opportunity to secure some much needed respect during the remainder of the season.

Hawke's Bay United coach Brett Angell is happy with what his troops have ticked off at training this week in the wake of last weekend's defeat.

"We need to move on and it's all systems go."

Angell pointed out the willingness to want to play has been a major focus this week.


"We have to get some footing in place. We didn't win the right to do that last weekend but we did the previous weekend. Bringing that consistency from each individual in each game is the goal now."

French forward Maxime Oliveri returns from suspension this week although defender Cameron Lindsay will miss the match through suspension.

Other games tomorrow will see Hamilton Wanderers host Eastern Suburbs, Auckland City host Canterbury United, Tasman United host Wellington Phoenix and Waitakere United host Southern United.

Teams for tomorrow's 2pm clash:
Hawke's Bay United: 1. Mackenzie Waite (GK), 2. Anders Eriksson, 3. Liam Schofield, 5. Joseph Zupo, 6. Dan Allan, 7. Cory Chettleburgh, 8. Paul Ifill, 9. Sam Mason-Smith, 10. Sho Gotto, 11. Maxime Oliveri, 17. Jordan Lamb, 21. Bjorn Christensen, 22. Karan Mandair, 23. Jorge Akers, 26. Alexander Britton (GK).
Coach: Brett Angell.
Team Wellington: 1. Scott Basalaj (GK), 2. Justin Gulley, 3. Scott Hilliar, 4. Mario Ilich, 5. Liam Wood, 6. Taylor Schrijvers, 8. Henry Cameron, 10. Nathanael Hailemariam, 11. Mario Barcia, 12. Andy Bevin, 14. Jack-Henry Sinclair, 16. Angus Kilkolly, 17. Alex Palezevic, 19. Ross Allen, 21. Hamish Watson, 22. Marcel Kampman (GK)
Coach: Jose Figueira
■ Hawke's Bay's New Zealand under-17 women's football team head coach Leon Birnie is calling for cool heads as his team looks to make history at the Fifa U-17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay.

The OFC champions, who made headlines on Wednesday when they defeated Finland 1-0 in Montevideo, will look to back up that performance today when they take on the hosts Uruguay at the same venue. New Zealand have appeared at every edition of Fifa's youngest female tournament, but they have yet to progress to the knockout stage.

Birnie said it is hard to know what they will face when they arrive at the Estadio Charrúa as the home team fights to stay in the tournament.

"We have spoken about the atmosphere, but being in it, is completely different," said Birnie. "We don't know what it will be like until we get there. We have done everything we can to talk through what to expect and explain some scenarios. This is a football-mad country and there was 9,500 fans the other night when they played Ghana – these girls haven't experienced an atmosphere like that before."

The young Football Ferns got off to an ideal start when a stunning goal from Kelli Brown was enough to earn them three points against Finland, and now they have a great chance of advancing to the knockout stage.

Birnie is expecting a completely different challenge from Uruguay compared to their opening game against Finland.

"Finland are a really structured team whereas Uruguay have much more flair and some individual players who are going to create things. We are going to have to be very good defensively one-on-one."

The coach is not reading much into the 5-0 drubbing the home team suffered in their opening game against Ghana. He said that will count for little with their tournament on the line.

"Don't even worry about that 5-0 result against Ghana. Ghana just blew them away and that is something that we didn't expect. Uruguay are a much better side than that. For us we are totally focused on this game and we had to bring the girls back down to earth.
New Zealand will complete their pool games with a match against Ghana on Wednesday.