Recent signing Ian Hogg made an impressive debut for the Wellington Phoenix as they beat Perth Glory 1-0 at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday evening.
Games between the Phoenix and Glory are often settled by one goal and this one was decided in the 41st minute by a diving header from the club-s leading scorer Jeremy Brockie after a superb cross from Paul Ifill.
There were some nervy moments late on for the Phoenix as Perth threw everyone forward, including goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, looking for an equaliser.
That almost led to a second Phoenix goal as the impressive Isaka Cernak-s attempt at goal from the halfway line, with Vukovic stranded up the field, went agonisingly inches past the post.
Herbert felt his side deserved the points after four losses and a draw from the last five games.
“There have been a few games recently where we haven-t been able to say that,” Herbert said.
“We scored a very good goal and defended stoutly. We looked like a team determined to get the points.
“We were a bit hesitant at first but we got the job done. I said to the staff on the bench it was a bit like we used to be.
“Manchester United are good to watch but they can also be desperate when they have to.”
Herbert also had nothing but good to say about Hogg-s performance.
“It is all about players taking opportunities when they arrive,” he said.
“When we brought Ben Sigmund into the All Whites against Wales it ultimately led to him getting a contract here. I reminded the boys about that last night.
“Ian did very well. He was disciplined and worked hard. His legs went a little bit after 70, but good on him for sticking to his task which he had to because of a couple of injuries.”
Asked if Hogg would keep his place for the clash with competition leaders Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Thursday, Herbert said it was a distinct possibility.
“Ian was always going to play at some point and it arrived earlier rather than later because of Tony-s suspension.
“I thought he was terrific tonight. Can he do it again? I don-t know, but if we don-t expose him to it we-ll never find out.
“Away to the Mariners will be a real challenge for him.”
Herbert said he had left Tyler Boyd and Louis Fenton out of the starting line-up because he felt the leadership and responsibility of the senior players was important in such a vital game.
“Tyler and Louis have been terrific this season and they are going to be fantastic for the club, but I wanted to see the resilience of the senior players.”
The match was played in front of 11,566, the Phoenix’s second largest crowd this season.