Phoenix seek fast start

Cutting out the early errors is going to be vital if the Wellington Phoenix are to succeed against Sydney this Sunday, says midfielder Leo Bertos.

Cutting out the early errors is going to be vital if the Wellington Phoenix are to succeed against Sydney this Sunday, says midfielder Leo Bertos.

In all three Hyundai A-League matches to-date the Phoenix has gone behind to early goals and while it rallied against Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar, Bertos believes the team can't rely on a strong finish to get it out of trouble every game.

"I don't think we go a goal behind on purpose. That's something we have got to stop. We end up chasing the game because there's no other option," Bertos said.

"We've got to make sure that in the next game and the games after that, that we're giving ourselves the best chance of winning and obviously conceding early goals is not really doing that. It's giving us a bit of a mountain to climb.

"On the plus side, the guys are looking good especially towards the end of the game and in the second half. The fitness is there and the attitude is there it's just trying to stop the mistakes early on in the game."

Bertos has been in scintillating form from day one this season. Against the Newcastle Jets he was the stand-out player for the Phoenix in a losing effort and struck a thunderbolt 35m free-kick to win the match against Glory before turning in another good effort against Brisbane.

"In the off-season I've been playing with the All Whites for most of it so I've been pretty much raring to go from day one," said the 27-year-old, who scored one of his two goals last season in the away win against Sydney.

"The plan was to start the best that I can this season because going on last season what cost us from getting into the finals was the slow start we had."

"Personally I think I could have done better there too. I thought I've got to work and make sure I'm buzzing by the first game of the season and it's going okay and hopefully I can improve on that."

Last weekend in Brisbane he was often double marked, such was the threat he imposed down the flank and it is something the talented New Zealand international will have to get used to.

"I felt like I'd been in a boxing ring after the game to be honest. I got a few free-kicks against me but that's sometimes how it goes."

"If I get two or three players marking me for most of the game that frees up more options for the rest of my team."

"That might happen a few times this year and I've got to get used to that and exploit it as well."