Still lamenting the fallout from a record win over ex-coach Ange Postecoglou's Melbourne Victory, Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith says he wishes his former mentor "all the best" as he plots an A-League season turnaround.
But Smith said the Roar would strive to remain at their merciless best against the Phoenix in Wellington on Sunday as they looked to "improve" on their 5-0 shellacking of the Victory.
Smith backed Roar coach Rado Vidosic's claim that the Brisbane players' comments about ex-coach Postecoglou were taken out of context by media ahead of the weekend heavyweight clash.
Postecoglou could not hide his displeasure after Roar players were quoted claiming Vidosic was the "brains" of their back-to-back A-League titles and vowed to send their ex-coach home a loser.
His mood would not have improved after the celebrated coach's Victory slumped to their biggest loss in history at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday night, and second straight of the new season.
Smith did his best to offer an olive branch to his former mentor.
"Personally, I think they were blown out of context. Some words in a sentence can be blown out of context to hype up the game," he told AAP.
"Players coached by Ange will always hold him in high regard.
"We respect Ange and are very thankful that he was at our club the last couple of years.
"For some of us, he is the reason why we are at Brisbane and we are very thankful for the opportunity that he gave us.
"But that was last season and we have to move on with Rado.
"We always wish Ange all the best - but obviously not when he plays against us."
Asked if he would contact Postecoglou to further explain, Smith said: "I am not too sure.
"It's probably something that won't be necessary.
"We need to focus on the next game now and put all our energy into that game."
In scary news for the Phoenix, Smith hoped for an improved display this weekend.
"That's the culture of our club - there are always areas where we can improve," he said.
"We had a video session of the game today and Rado has highlighted areas which we still need to work on.
"It is important to take some positives out of last week but there were still some negative aspects as well - if there can be such a thing in a 5-0 win.
"But we aim to get better. We hope to peak when the finals come."