Coolen stays positive

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen had nothing but praise for his side's 1-1 draw with the Wellington Phoenix and described his side as one that has steadily improved over the last few weeks.

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen had nothing but praise for his side's 1-1 draw with the Wellington Phoenix and described his side as one that has steadily improved over the last few weeks.

The visitors were leading for most of the second half until a diving header from defender Nigel Boogaard into his own net saw the home side equalise with four minutes to play at a windy Eden Park.

Coolen said he was proud of the way Boogaard played despite the unfortunate own-goal.

"I think we deserved to win today. We scored twice, but unfortunately Boogaard scored the equaliser. He can look back on a fantastic game, to be honest. He was very unlucky in that moment."

"I'm very proud of the squad, to be honest. The whole squad and how we worked in the last couple of weeks to improve in different ways."

After a torrid start to the season - three losses from four games that included a 1-7 hiding at the hands of the Brisbane Roar - the last three weeks have seen Adelaide record a win and two draws to sit on eight points in seventh place on the A-League ladder.

Captain John McKain shared his coach's pride in the South Australian team, but was understandably disappointed in conceding a late equaliser.

"If you go into the changing rooms, mate, they're gutted."

"This was probably one of the first games I thought we were really comfortable. We had control for most of the game and I didn't feel threatened."

"It's a bit disappointing how we conceded the goal. Eug [goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic] didn't have to do much - he was under pressure for a bit but I don't think they created too much."

"There were some times there where we played some really good football. It's a good step for us. We battled in the first few weeks and the last few weeks have been good for us."

Another player smarting from the shared result was Adelaide midfielder Cassio. The tricky Brazilian at times danced with the ball at his feet on the left wing, but on one occasion away from the ball he instead rolled his ankle to most likely sit alongside the growing injury list at the club.

"It doesn't look good at the moment," Coolen said.

"We have to see what happened when we're back in Adelaide. He had some problems on that foot before the game but nothing to do with this injury."

Like Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert, McKain - himself a defender at the Phoenix for two years - praised the Auckland crowd for attending the match and creating a buzz similarly seen at the Rugby World Cup final only a month ago.

"Obviously being from here for a couple of years I know what the crowds are like in Wellington.

"It's fantastic from Auckland to create the atmosphere that we played in. I think they'll go home a little disappointed they didn't win, but on the flipside of that I think they saw a pretty good game of football."