Brown still confident

Tim Brown has shrugged off suggestions by former Wellington team-mate Shane Smeltz that the Phoenix won't be a threat in the Hyundai A-League finals series if they play the same brand of football they produced against Gold Coast United on Sunday.

Tim Brown has shrugged off suggestions by former Wellington team-mate Shane Smeltz that the Phoenix won't be a threat in the Hyundai A-League finals series if they play the same brand of football they produced against Gold Coast United on Sunday.

Smeltz, who has yet to score against his former team or register a win against it in three encounters, was clearly frustrated with referee Matthew Breeze following Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Skilled Park.

The Phoenix won courtesy of a Paul Ifill penalty and some staunch defending - particularly by captain Andrew Durante and Jon McKain - in the second half, prompting last year's Johnny Warren medal winner to vent his frustration.

"Wellington didn't play well. If they think they are going to get to and win a grand final with a style of performance like that they are kidding themselves," he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Brown however, dismissed the criticism saying: "We frustrated the guy. He's scored against everyone else and hasn't scored against the Phoenix. It's probably hurting him a little bit. It certainly sounds like it."

The Phoenix midfielder did admit that the two most recent 1-0 wins against Adelaide and Gold Coast were probably not the most attractive games to watch but with so much at stake that was to be expected.

"Despite what our friend Mr Smeltz says, at this stage of the season it's about results. We've ground out a couple and it's probably not been pretty to watch at times but I don't think anyone can fault the effort.

"At the moment we're five from seven in the run home and the confidence is really high."

That run, which has included five games away from Wellington, has lifted the Phoenix to fourth spot and while a place in the semi-finals is guaranteed Brown said securing a home semi-final was now the target heading into Friday's match against Central Coast at Westpac Stadium.

"I think the incentive to win on Friday is that we won't have to go to the airport and fly again the next week," he said.

"If you've had the travel schedule we've had in the last few months you'd appreciate it's a pretty big reason to win.

"We love playing at home. We're unbeaten here for a year-and-a-half and rewarding the fans for their loyalty in the first three years is a real big thing for the players.

"Hopefully we can win and get that result that gives us the best chance of winning that first round of the playoff."