Herbert expects Roar backlash

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert expects Brisbane Roar to be desperate in their A-league football match in Dunedin on Wednesday night.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert expects Brisbane Roar to be desperate in their A-league football match in Dunedin on Wednesday night.

Brisbane lead the table with 20 points but they have lost their last two matches as the pack starts to close on them.

"Brisbane will be pretty desperate after those two losses," Herbert said.

"It's probably foreign territory to them, having to deal with that. They haven't experienced consecutive losses for a fair while and they're a good football team."

"It does make them vulnerable. There is always going to be a seed of doubt in your mind somewhere if you've been travelling well and you have a couple of setbacks."

Brisbane beat the Phoenix 5-1 in a pre-season game in Dunedin but Herbert said that had scant relevance to Wednesday night.

"Since then we've drawn 1-all over there and, at that time, it was the first points they had dropped at home for a while," he said.

"You don't go 36-odd games unbeaten unless you're a good team and they'll be a handful on Wednesday."

The Phoenix arrived in Dunedin after a 1-0 win over Perth Glory in Wellington courtesy of an 86th minute header from Ben Sigmund.

"It was an average game," Herbert acknowledged.

"It was quite physical and we had to compete. We scored a good goal and we probably deserved to get the points. We've played better this year and got none."

"We just need to keep going," he said.

"We've played 10 games now and eight of those have been pretty decent. I guess our main improvement has to be to look after the ball better."

"We've won two, drawn two and lost one of our last five games and we would like to continue that sort of consistency and push our way up the table."

The Phoenix are seventh on the table and face three games in eight days with their next assignment away to the Melbourne Victory on Sunday.

They have come to Dunedin with a full-strength squad apart from Tony Lochhead, who was having a scan on a groin injury he sustained in Wellington at the weekend.

"Hopefully Tony will be right in a couple of weeks," Herbert said.

Herbert said the Phoenix are looking forward to playing their first A-league competition match in Dunedin.

"It's a magnificent stadium and it was tremendous to get a crowd of 15,000 for the pre-season game against the Roar. Dunedin did a fantastic job last time and we're really pleased to be back," he said.

"The playing surface is top quality and the atmosphere in the crowd is pretty special."