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Australian Football: Sail wants Nix jersey back

Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Oli Sail is back to full fitness and is determined to reclaim his place in the side ahead of Alex Paulsen who has excelled in his absence.

The Nix are priced at 9/2 to finish in the top six of the A-League this season and now have two top quality goalkeepers battling for the right to take the gloves.

Injury issues

Sail has been on the treatment table for the last six weeks after suffering a torn hip flexor but thankfully for the club Paulsen has been a more than adequate replacement.

The 19-year-old made the headlines with three saves in the penalty shootout win over Melbourne City in the FFA Cup quarter-final last month and has been solid between the sticks.

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Sail has also been impressed but he was blunt with his answer when asked if he would feel bad about about replacing Paulsen if boss Ufuk Talay puts him back in.

"Honestly? No. It's my job. I had to take the jersey off someone to get there and it took me a lot longer than I wanted," Sail told reporters. "I'm not in a hurry to give the jersey up.

"It's fantastic to see him do well but at the end of the day I'm here to play football and do my best for the club. I want that jersey back."

Battle is on

Sail has saluted the performances of Paulsen and says the battle for the goalkeeping jersey is now a tough one and he will have to be at his very best to get back in and stay there.

"There's absolutely no doubt that I'll have to perform and justify the decision that Uffy makes, if he makes that one," Sail added. "That's something that Goffy (Phoenix goalkeeping coach Paul Gothard) has strived to put together within the club and the goalkeeping unit.

"He's done a great job and AP's done it superbly. Absolutely there's now competition for the jersey and I like that."

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