Coach Mike Mulvey says Brisbane Roar are still not firing on all cylinders despite enjoying their first back-to-back wins on Tuesday.
Jeremy Brockie’s superlative first half strike was not enough for Wellington, as Besart Berisha and Ben Halloran scored for the hosts either side of the break in a match where Brisbane played some attractive passing football, but the Phoenix always looked capable of scoring.
Having gained a maximum six points over the festive season, the defending champions jumped into the top six for the first time since drawing with the Phoenix back in Round Three.
“That was nowhere near as good as we can play,” Mulvey said.
“We created a lot of chances, which is good. But we gave away far too many opportunities to the opposition.
“We allowed them back in the game, even though it was a wonder strike. We were asleep at a quick free kick.
“But what I’m especially pleased with is that we got the win at the end of the day and that’s testament to the players in the dressing room because they fought it out right to the end,” he said.
Mulvey said that despite defending well overall, his side were still giving away too many chances.
“The defending is pretty good,” he said.
“What we did, we gave them opportunities and we made Michael Theo have to make saves – the one he made from Brockie was sensational.
“Just those little lapses in concentration when free kicks are awarded. A couple of times tonight Wellington caught us off guard, so we need to get better. But overall defending is not a problem.”
Mulvey also commented on midfielder Thomas Broich’s return to his imperial best in recent weeks.
“Thomas is an artist,” he said.
“He’s a beautiful footballer to watch. I think you can see in the last two games he’s really leading from the front, as I expect from every player, and he’s been really contributing in a fantastic way – and I think the other guys are feeding off it as well.
“He created numerous opportunities for us tonight. He made the right passes at the right times, he worked hard when he needed to work hard, so it’s very pleasing, and we need to see that continue.
The Roar coach was also pleased that star Albanian striker Besart Berisha scored for the first time from open play since November 16.
“Delighted for him. He’s just getting back to full fitness, he had a little bit of a knock which he’s been playing with, but like any striker, it’s great to see him score and I thought his finish was fantastic,” Mulvey said.