Brown: Phoenix didn't show up

It wasn't the way Tim Brown wanted his 100th game for Wellington Phoenix to pan out but the midfielder admitted the 1-0 defeat to Perth Glory was probably what his team deserved.

It wasn't the way Tim Brown wanted his 100th game for Wellington Phoenix to pan out but the midfielder admitted the 1-0 defeat to Perth Glory was probably what his team deserved.

After two impressive performances at home against Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC, the Phoenix stumbled in the ferocious wind and rain against Glory as they failed to adapt to the conditions and struggled to get any sort of fluidity into their game.

They were kept chanceless in the opening 45 minutes as they were forced to soak up the pressure applied by the visitors, who had three shots on target to Travis Dodd, Liam Miller and Steven McGarry.

The closest the Phoenix came to scoring was Daniel's shot in the 57th minute which came back off the crossbar.

The woodwork spared their blushes at the other end when Shane Smeltz, returning from a groin strain, hit the crossbar and Perth's miserable run at Westpac Stadium was finally ended when Josh Mitchell got on the end of a free kick to head home deep in stoppage time.

"Ultimately we probably got what we deserved to be perfectly fair," said a despondent Brown. "It's a very disappointed changing room after that. We've been tracking quite well up until today and it's hugely disappointing.

"They've travelled halfway round the world and looked fresher and sharper than us. That's the most disappointing aspect."

The Phoenix have endured a heavy schedule in recent weeks but Brown refused to use that as an excuse for below-par performance.

"Perth could probably point to a pretty long flight they've just taken and they looked a million bucks," the midfielder said.

"It's just one of those games where we didn't show up and it's disappointing. On a day when you don't play well it's probably one where you just grind it out and get a point and say 'move on'. To concede like that, it's just a really tough one.

"We'll need to take a long hard look in the mirror because it seems to me like this whole season it's been one step forward and one step back and it makes it pretty hard to build momentum."

The Phoenix now face away games against Gold Coast and Newcastle and have yet to win in Australia this season.

Coach Ricki Herbert has hinted at possible changes for Sunday's match at Skilled Park with Paul Ifill a possibility to return to the starting line-up after two games off the bench following his groin injury.

"I'll just see. He's coming through these (games) which is helpful. We'll be careful with it but the signs are looking pretty positive to maybe start against Gold Coast," the coach said.

"We've got some options now to consider. I'll wait. I'll give the players a couple of days to refocus. We'll get back in on Wednesday and work towards the trip on Friday.

"I'll probably take a slightly extended squad and just see how people are. We don't have a whole raft (of people) to dig into."

Herbert also believes having the pressure of a winless away record to contend with - and Sydney, Melbourne Victory, Perth and Adelaide all breathing down their neck in a congested ladder - won't do his team any harm either.

"If we can step up to that then we can keep this season flowing along."