The Wellington Phoenix players are enjoying a few days in the sun following their ground-breaking 1-0 win over Gold Coast United on Sunday.
Coach Ricki Herbert opted to keep the squad in Australia to prepare for Friday night-s game against Newcastle Jets rather than arrive home in Wellington at midnight on Monday and have to fly back to Aussie on Wednesday.
“It would have been silly to spend all that time travelling unnecessarily and our owners agreed,” Herbert said.
“We-ve had such a busy schedule lately that it is all about managing the players rather than running them into the ground.”
There is a buoyant feeling in the camp after winning away for the first time this season, but everyone knows that the win needs to be built on if a top four spot is going to be snared.
On Tuesday morning everyone set out to walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach. Twenty minutes each way was the estimate.
As it turned out Bondi was a step too far with the walk ended one bay back after 45 minutes.
After a 90-minute walk in hot sun Herbert canned afternoon training but the players asked to do a light session under the guidance of Chris Greenacre.
“There has been a terrific feeling since the win and I think a lot of it comes from the way we won it,” Greenacre said.
“It was a good game with both teams having chances and to win it at the death was exciting.
“There was a feeling of euphoria in the dressing room that comes from last gasp wins.
“It was also great for Tim (Brown) to score with a trademark header.
“He is the best in the league at timing his runs into the box and he has been looking for that goal.
“The decision to stay was a no brainer. While we were on the walk I said to Tim ‘imagine if we were just preparing to come back after 24 hours at home-.
“We aren-t prima donnas but the timing of the fixtures meant we had to do it this way.”
Coach Ricki Herbert has paid tribute to the Phoenix fans who played their part in the 1-0 win over the Gold Coast.
The band of yellow-and-black clad fans outshouted the home supporters throughout the 90 minutes, and were ecstatic when the Wellington players ran to them after Tim Brown netted his 88th minute winner.
“They were absolutely fantastic. It was like playing at home,” Herbert said of the supporters
“I know some of them came over from Wellington, while others now live here.
“It shows how much the Phoenix brand has grown over the past four and a half seasons.
“The players and management really appreciate the support they gave us and were delighted we could send them away happy.”