Phoenix aim to keep rising

Wellington Phoenix's performance in the 2-0 win against Melbourne Victory has set the standard for the remaining games of the season, says midfielder Vince Lia.

Wellington Phoenix's performance in the 2-0 win against Melbourne Victory has set the standard for the remaining games of the season, says midfielder Vince Lia.

The Phoenix, sparked by teenage dynamo Marco Rojas, launched wave after wave of attack on the Victory goal and but for some expert goalkeeping from Michael Petkovic could have won by a bigger margin.

Wellington have two tough away trips against Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar in the next couple of weeks and Lia believes the attacking mindset they displayed against Victory must continue if they are to push for a coveted place in the play-offs.

"We can't afford to sit back and hopefully pinch a goal on the set-piece," Lia said.

"We have to get after teams and I think we are much better when we're on the front foot. We need to do that away as well as at home."

The Phoenix, who sit one point behind sixth-placed Melbourne Heart with a game in hand, were able exert such pressure thanks largely to Manny Muscat's switch to his preferred defensive midfield role following the return of Tony Lochhead at left-back.

It allowed Lia and Tim Brown to press forward more often, while Rojas and Nick Ward did the damage out on the flanks.

"With Manny in the hole it gives me and Brownie a little bit more of a licence to go forward without worrying about leaving a big hole in the midfield," explained Lia.

"We knew we had to win and we needed to be aggressive so that was our mindset going into the game and it showed in how many players we got forward."

Wednesday's night's win was the second in three games for Wellington, with a 1-1 draw away in North Queensland sandwiched in the middle.

It has given the Phoenix some valuable momentum heading in to the difficult trip to Gosford.

"It's been a while since we've been this consistent," Lia admitted.

"We haven't had three good performances like this all season.

"It's coming at a good time and we really need to get a run going if we're going to make the play-offs."

They also need to start winning away from home - something they have managed just once this season, against Perth Glory in early November.

"It's no secret that we haven't been good away from home," Lia said.

The draw in Townsville however, has given the team cause for optimism against the third-placed Central Coast.

"The way that we fought back and came from behind to get a point is the more pleasing thing (about the Fury game)," Lia added.

"We've drawn games before but to show the character I think that's come back from what we had last year.

"We're getting that sort of character back where we're fighting to the end and the game is never over until the whistle goes."

They will need every ounce of determination against a Mariners side looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Victory last weekend

"We know the Mariners are a strong team and they are going to be hard to break down. If we don't match them physically then we're going to get beat," said Lia.

"They are strong all over the pitch. We saw that here (in Wellington) when they touched us up and scored three goals."