Phoenix rue mistakes

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante dismissed suggestions that a change in formation at the back was to blame for the two goals his side conceded in their 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart.

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante dismissed suggestions that a change in formation at the back was to blame for the two goals his side conceded in their 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart.

The Phoenix started the match with Ben Sigmund, Durante and Jade North in a three-man defensive line and trailed 2-1 at the break in Sunday's match at Westpac Stadium.

After an early goal by Chris Greenacre gave the home side the perfect start, Manny Muscat conceded a penalty when he brought down Adrian Zahra in the box, then Matt Thompson put his side in front when he beat Sigmund and Troy Hearfield to score nine minutes before half-time.

Leo Bertos levelled the scores in the 59th minute to give Wellington a share of the spoils and the Australasian club record of the longest run of games unbeaten at one venue (24 matches) which took them past previous record holders Sydney (23).

"I don't think the shape had anything to do with (the goals conceded)," Durante said.

"It was just a bad penalty from Manny. He probably didn't need to challenge because (Zahra) was going wide."

"The second goal - turning inside the box, things like that just weren't happening last year and they are creeping into our game."

"Most of the goals we have conceded this year have been defensive mistakes."

"We need to be a lot harder to score against."

Coach Ricki Herbert replaced North and the ineffective Nicky Ward at the break for Mirjan Pavlovic and Vince Lia and Hearfield and Muscat dropped back as the Phoenix reverted to their usual four-man defensive format for the remainder of the match.

Herbert though did not discount using three at the back again in the future.

"It's hard to punish something like that over a 45-minute period. We've probably scrambled as a back four and let goals in too over a longer period of time," he said.

"We were tight and tidy in the second half and the players accepted those roles strongly and we got the right people on the ball in Bertos and (Paul) Ifill." "Whether it's three or four (at the back) it's important we get those players engaged as much as we can."

Having wrapped up the record at home, Herbert said the challenge now was to improve their form away from Westpac Stadium - starting against Adelaide on Friday night.

Despite their struggles on the road, Durante insisted crossing the Tasman was not something the players feared.

"We want to get out there and turn it around," the skipper said.

"There is so much media about it but we try and block that out inside the camp."

"We want to get out there in Adelaide and turn it around. I think once we get that win on the road confidence is going to be sky-high and I think we'll be a lot better and a lot harder to beat on the road."

"It's definitely a positive (mindset) and not 'oh s**t we've got to go on the road."