Macallister hitting peak form

They say timing is everything and Dylan Macallister has certainly rediscovered his goal-scoring mojo at just the right time for the Wellington Phoenix.

They say timing is everything and Dylan Macallister has certainly rediscovered his goal-scoring mojo at just the right time for the Wellington Phoenix.

The big target man has netted four times in the past seven matches. While he scored his first of the season in a losing cause against Sydney at the start of December his other goals have come in wins against Newcastle Jets (4-0) and Melbourne Victory (2-0) and more importantly earned his side a valuable away point in the recent 1-1 draw with North Queensland Fury.

"To be in the team and playing well is what you want as a footballer so yeah I-m really happy personally and I think we're playing some really good football at the moment and it's good timing coming into the finals," Macallister said.

It is no co-incidence that Macallister finds himself scoring goals regularly again just as the Phoenix start a late-season resurgence of their own with three wins, two losses and a draw in their last six outings.

The absence of the injured Paul Ifill has not hampered them as much as it might have thanks to teenage livewire Marco Rojas, who has tormented sides with his pace, ball skills and delivery into the box.

"To have a player like him out on the wings is great for the kind of job I do as a striker," said Macallister. "I need good delivery into the box and he has been providing that."

"I've been getting the same from the other side from Nick Ward and Leo Bertos as well."

"The way we are playing at the moment really suits me and we've been quite successful."

It hasn't always been like that for Macallister or Wellington this season.

After plenty of game time early on Macallister found himself on the outer as coach Ricki Herbert tinkered with his formation and squad when the results failed to come.

And the 28-year-old Australian admitted it had been a frustrating period for him.

"Personally I thought I started off the year quite well but I just couldn't get that first goal," he said.

"I played the first few games and then he (Herbert) wanted to change the way we were playing so I was out of the team and I felt pretty hard done by."

"But I've just tried to stay positive and keep training really hard and it's paying dividends now."

"I've been reasonably fit and injury-free so it's just hard work and a little bit of luck too."

Wellington may need a little bit more of that luck to make the play-offs this year. They are currently eighth, but just two points behind the sixth-placed Jets, and are in a four-way battle with Victory, Jets and Melbourne Heart for a coveted top six spot.

The Phoenix's run-in includes home games against Perth Glory and the Jets and away trips to Adelaide United and Sydney, while this Sunday's trip to Brisbane has been postponed due to the floods in Queensland.

"There are a couple of really big games for us now. It's so tight in that fifth and sixth position we really need to keep pushing forward," the striker said.

Sunday's 1-0 loss to Central Coast was a bit of a set-back, particularly when Macallister had a great chance to score in the opening minute.

"Anywhere else it would have been a goal. It was a great save in the end. He just stuck out a hand - that happens," said a phlegmatic Macallister

"We went to sleep for two minutes, not even that, and they scored. Good teams are going to punish you like that."

"It will be the same this weekend against Brisbane. They are a passing team and if we-re not switched on for the 90 minutes they are going to punish us."