Wellington striker Jeremy Brockie expects the team to adopt the same tactical approach it used to defeat Newcastle on Perth Glory this weekend.
Wellington implemented a 4-3-3 system to great effect in their 3-0 win at Hunter Stadium last week, with Vince Lia moved into midfield alongside Manny Muscat and Alex Smith.
The switch to a three-pronged strike attack of Paul Ifill, Louis Fenton and Brockie helped the Phoenix break a three-game losing streak, and the 25-year-old said the formation had worked well.
“We were just a bit more solid in the midfield with the three of them in there,” Brockie said.
“Those three are real hard workers and get stuck into tackles. People probably don’t like coming up against them.
“As a team we were much more solid and that was evident as we kept a clean sheet for the first time since round one as well.”
They will need to produce more of the same at Nib Stadium on Saturday against the Glory, who are not afraid to muscle up themselves, with the likes of Steven McGarry, Liam Miller and Nick Ward in midfield and Scott Jamieson in defence.
“They (Perth) play a similar formation so it will be good to match them in midfield again,” said Brockie. “They’ve got some key players in the middle of the park.
“If Ricki (Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert) decides to go with the three we had against Newcastle then I’m sure they’ll put in a shift again.”
The change in formation certainly helped Wellington create more goal-scoring opportunities. They had managed just one clear-cut chance the previous week in their loss against the Mariners.
“Because there is the three midfielders tighter in behind us, it doesn’t relieve us from our defensive duties but we get a bit more opportunity to hang around the attacking third to create more opportunities and get in more goal-scoring situations,” explained the New Zealand striker.
“It definitely helped the team for that game. I’m pretty sure Ricki won’t change too much for this weekend.”
Against his former club, Brockie bagged a double to add to his two goals against Melbourne Victory and should have had another only for Benjamin Totori to go for glory himself then waste the chance.
“He’s bought me a coffee or two (this week),” joked Brockie. “We’ve had a bit of a laugh about it now. He’s all good.
“He did really well when he came on. The penalty (he won) he gave us the three-goal buffer which made it a bit more comfortable for us.
“He’s going to be a handful for teams. The more games he plays, the more game time he gets he’s definitely going to be a real threat.”