Phoenix still a play-off chance: Herbert
A little bit of belief can go a long way and Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is hopeful Sunday's 2-2 draw with Adelaide United can spark enough confidence to ignite a late run into the A-League play-offs.
Wellington sit last on the ladder with 21 points, but still have a mathematical chance of making the top six if they can string together a few wins from their last five matches, including three at home.
Winning hasn't come easy for the Phoenix this season - they have just five from 22 starts and have picked up only five points from a possible 27 in 2013.
But Herbert says his men showed enough in battling to a draw with Adelaide at Westpac Stadium in front of a meagre crowd of 4892 to suggest they can still threaten to make the playoffs.
"At the moment, it's just that little spark that's got to come from the boys ... let's just be courageous enough to do it, and back ourselves," he said.
There were a few positives from Sunday's draw; the return to goal-scoring form of Jeremy Brockie, who picked up his 12th of the season, and the sharpness of newcomer Corey Gameiro.
The Australia-born striker created the Phoenix's first goal in the 31st minute when he dispossessed Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic in front of goal and slipped the ball to Brockie for the easiest of tap-ins.
And he slammed home the equaliser with 10 minutes remaining, as the Phoenix finally capitalised on the dismissal of Reds defender Jon McKain in the 68th minute.
"Corey's been excellent ... he adds just a little bit of zest, and I like that," Herbert said.
"He's come with no baggage, doesn't know anything about the club, good bad or indifferent. He's really knuckled down and wanted to make a difference, and I think he's made an excellent contribution."
The Phoenix back up against Newcastle Jets in Wellington on Wednesday, then travel to Dunedin for another must-win match against Melbourne Heart four days later.
Herbert looks to have a close-to-full roster, with Vince Lia expected to recover from the ankle injury he picked up against Adelaide, and Isaka Cernak a possibility after responding well to treatment for a hip flexor problem.