Football: Wellington Phoenix receive timely boost with captain Ulises Davila returning from injury against Perth Glory

A late-season surge has seen Wellington Phoenix playoff hopes move into their own hands and now boosted by captain Ulises Davila's return for their crucial clash with Perth on Sunday. 

Davila suffered a hamstring injury in the goalless draw against Adelaide United this month, forcing him out of the Phoenix's last three outings. 

After his side's 2-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers, coach Ufuk Talay confirmed the Mexican star should return off the bench against the Glory at Eden Park. 

Davila has trained with the team on Friday and is excited to be back in the selection mix. 

"I trained with the team for the first time today, so my leg and my body is feeling good, and I'm hoping to get some minutes on Sunday," Davila tells Newshub.

"I just lost one week when I stopped after the injury. I was only doing bike and strength for the legs.

"Last week, I was running, and doing fitness and conditioning, and this week, I can train, so I didn't really lose any fitness, which is the important thing." 

The Phoenix are unbeaten in their last nine games and can clinch a playoff spot for the third straight season with wins against Perth and Macarthur FC in their final regular season outings.

Davila feels the pressure of the last month of football has had a positive effect on the team. 

"We are in an amazing situation," he says. "Sometimes, you want to be in the top six and have the playoffs secured, but at this moment, the last four games were finals, so this gives you extra motivation.

"You can see the vibe. The boys are very excited and very motivated, as you can see in the last games.

"We are just trying to win these last two games and be in the top six." 

Davila is very coy when asked if he should've bid goodbye to Wellington fans last week, with speculation linking him to a big-money move to A-League rivals Macarthur.  

"At this moment, I was very focused on the injury, but the last couple of weeks, I was focusing on recovering well and try to play this game," he says. "At this moment, I'm just focused on this Sunday and to have some minutes, be with the team and try to win these games.

"I'm just focused on trying to make it good and let's see in the off-season, I'll start thinking about these things and see what will happen."   

One key to that impressive run of form is Israeli striker Tomer Hemed, who has scored nine goals in his past 12 outings to help the Phoenix now control their own destiny.

The Phoenix import - and top scorer - is another of the 13 players off contract at the end of the season, but he hasn't given anything away, when pushed on his future.

"My contract ends at the end of the season, so obviously, when the season ends, I will need to speak with the club here or any other clubs that are interested in me," Hemed tells Newshub.

"It's normal when you're doing well, you have eyes on you, and everyone thinking and looking at you as an option for next year. 

"The good thing with me is I focused on the games and the league, and not let other things affect me. That's why now I'm really focused on the remaining games.

"I want to finish in the best way for the team first and for myself."           

After 24,105 fans turned up to Wellington's 'Cake Tin' for the Phoenix's first NZ home game in 433 days, the club hopes to go even better at Eden Park. 

On Friday, 18,000 tickets had already been sold.