Phoenix stick with winners

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is sticking to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' theory for Sunday's clash with the Queensland Roar in Wellington.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is sticking to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' theory for Sunday's clash with the Queensland Roar in Wellington.

Herbert says he is likely to start the same XI that beat Central Coast 1-0 on the road last weekend, with the only changes possibly coming in the make-up of his bench

"We've had some good performances in the pat three games and that's been rewarded with consistency in the team," Herbert said.

"It's hard to change things at the moment and that's a positive sign given some of the dilemmas we had earlier in the season."

If Herbert is as good as his work and the same side that beat the Mariners runs out against the Roar at Westpac Stadium, it will be only the fifth time in the Phoenix's 30-match Hyundai A-League history they have backed up the same XI in consecutive fixtures.

And given the lion-hearted effort the Phoenix players put in to grab all three points in boiling Gosford weather, it would be only fair if they are allowed to do the business again.

That leaves goal-scorer Karl Dodd in the heart of defence alongside captain Andrew Durante along with Ben Sigmund and Tony Lochhead.

Goal-scoring go-to man Shane Smeltz will link up with Vaughan Coveny up front while Mark Paston may don the keeping gloves again despite Glen Moss overcoming injury concerns.

"What we have is a group of players under-pinning the starting XI who are very keen and desperate to be a part of that XI," Herbert said.

"That's a healthy position to be in. It puts pressure on the guys starting to make sure they're maximising their chances while they're on the pitch."

The Phoenix go into Sunday's match with the chance to break their longest unbeaten streak in the club's history.

It all started with a brilliant upset 2-1 victory over Sydney FC before drawing 2-all with Newcastle and getting the job done on the Central Coast.

But the biggest incentive comes in the fact that if Herbert's men record back-to-back wins for the first time, they may break into the A-League's top four.

"There's only seven points separating top to bottom and Queensland will be tough, no doubt," Herbert said. "We say this week in, week out - home or away, every opponent is a big challenge."

Herbert points to shutting down the Roar's hard-working midfield as the key to securing three points this weekend.

"They're strong in that area, very attacking and mobile, and they'll hurt you if you're not careful. But we're confident, there's good belief in the squad and it's for us to take the initiative and take the game to them."