Phoenix stick with Herbert

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has had his contract with the Hyundai A-League club extended by another year.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has had his contract with the Hyundai A-League club extended by another year.

His initial three-year deal was due to expire at the end of the season but the Phoenix has moved quickly to retain the services of the New Zealand national coach until 2011.

While some had raised eyebrows at the decision coming so early in the season after eighth and sixth place finishes in the previous two years under Herbert, the coach said both he and chairman Terry Serepisos were comfortable with it.

"He's got the confidence. He wants us to be a top six team. I want to be a top six coach. The players want to be top six players," declared Herbert following his side's 2-1 home win against Perth Glory.

"It's a contract and there's not always security around contracts but it's onwards and upwards."

"I don't want the pressure to go away. I want to be as good as I can be. I want a winning team in Wellington."

Herbert said Serepisos had not required him to give up his position with the All Whites, which has at times resulted in him being absent from the Phoenix during the past two seasons, in order to extend his deal with the club.

"I'm contracted with the national team until the end of the World Cup and I'll make a decision on my future there," said the former All White.

"I'm very thankful to the chairman for the continuation. We have a very good relationship. At the end of the day I might have another year but it's still around results."

Herbert's extended deal was welcomed by skipper Andrew Durante.

"It's great news that the club has signed him so early. Clubs need to keep coaches on as long as possible. When a new coach comes in you've got to change structures, change formations and it messes the team up a little bit," he said.

"The players have full confidence in Ricki and hopefully he stays on even longer."

Durante is one of a clutch of players whose deals run out at the end of the season and Herbert said retaining those key players would be a priority.

"It's important to move as quickly as we can. There are some very valuable players at the club and as soon as we can retain our key players the better."