Phoenix defence recast

Wellington Phoenix will have a reshuffled defensive line-up when they take on Perth Glory in Friday night's crucial Hyundai A-League match.

Wellington Phoenix will have a reshuffled defensive line-up when they take on Perth Glory in Friday night's crucial Hyundai A-League match.

Tony Lochhead has been ruled out of the trip to Australia - which also includes a match against Melbourne next Tuesday - because of a niggling groin problem and he is no certainty to resume his role at left-back against Adelaide in Christchurch on January 30 either.

"He probably needs a month off," revealed Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert.

"We just had to make a call about whether we do it now or later and it's probably in his best interests and long-term for the club that we do it now."

"(Playing in) Christchurch is a possibility but it depends what the results are like when we're away."

In Lochhead's absence, Ben Sigmund - who has not played since copping a three-match ban for punching Melbourne's Adrian Leijer in the 1-1 draw on December 4 - will slot in at right back with Troy Hearfield switching to the left.

"There's not too many complications," said Herbert.

"Ben's played right back and it's a good chance for him to get back into the side and get some football."

"That's our initial thinking but we've got a few days to work through it."

The team left Wellington on Tuesday with striker Chris Greenacre among the extended squad and likely to see some game time across the Tasman after recovering from a knee injury.

"Chris was terrific for us, but unfortunately he's been sidelined."

"We're going to need his strength as the season progresses and I would think he'll probably feature in the next two games," added Herbert.

Also flying out for a date with his former club was big striker Eugene Dadi who's has had a superb start to his Phoenix career with three goals in two games.

Despite requiring 15 stitches to a head gash suffered in the 3-0 win against North Queensland Fury last Friday, Herbert expects the former Ivory Coast international to be fit to play this week and has not ruled out the possibility of Greenacre getting some game time alongside his new team-mate in the coming weeks.

"That's a good option for us," Herbert said.

"It's something we considered when we brought Eugene to the club."

"I think if we get that opportunity in a game to try that then we certainly would."

While the Phoenix's home form has been superb, they have had mixed results on the road this season with four losses, four draws and two wins - the last of which was against Central Coast on New Year's Eve that sparked a run of three victories on the trot.

"It' probably a good time to go on a road trip after three successive wins," said Herbert.

"The mood is really high and the confidence is there."

"It's two big games, but probably two we can get some points from."

"We know what we want to do, how we want to play and if we get injuries we're comfortable with the people we bring in."

"I think it's a good time to travel."