Phoenix sweat on Ifill

The injury to Paul Ifill may not be as bad as first feared with X-rays clearing the Wellington Phoenix striker of a broken leg.

The injury to Paul Ifill may not be as bad as first feared with X-rays clearing the Wellington Phoenix striker of a broken leg.

Ifill was left writhing in agony on the turf just 10 minutes into the Phoenix's 4-0 win against Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.

The Phoenix's leading goal-scorer landed awkwardly after connecting with Jets player Tarek Elrich while taking a shot at goal and was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital for X-rays.

Midfielder Tim Brown, stand-in captain in the absence of the suspended Andrew Durante, feared the worst initially.

"It's a tough one to hear when someone is screaming like that. You think they've broken their leg and hopefully that's not the case," he said.

"Fingers crossed it's not too bad because he is a very important player for us."

While Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert confirmed there was no break or fracture to the area just below Ifill's left knee, the exact nature of the injury remained unclear.

But Herbert was not expecting his star striker to be boarding the plane to North Queensland for the match with the Fury on December 27.

"The best case scenario is we take him to Queensland but my gut feeling is that if we get him back for the Melbourne game (January 5) we'd be doing a good job," he said.

Ifill's absence will obviously hurt the Phoenix, but in Marco Rojas they unearthed another match-winner.

In recent weeks he has provided plenty of spark coming off the bench and on Saturday night he was in the thick of things from the start and had a hand in all three first-half goals.

His burst down the right flank helped set up Tim Brown's header for the opener on 18 minutes before he got his debut goal in the 31st minute when he latched on to Dylan Macallister's header back into the box to slot home.

The livewire teenager fired the ball into the box from a set-piece which eventually saw Chris Greenacre, who replaced Ifill, turn and shoot from close range for the Phoenix's third.

"I think Marco is going to keep giving you things," Herbert said.

"You get degrees of excitement from him. He's a clever little player. I think it was good tonight to cut him loose a little bit in a home game rather than away. He's done his chances no harm but it's only one game."

The win, which was rounded off by Macallister's strike two minutes from time, kept the Phoenix in the play-off hunt.

But consistency is going to be crucial if they are to repeat last season's late run to the finals - something Brown is all too aware of.

"We take one step forward and one step back. I think tonight to win was important but they are all important from now on," he said.

"We haven't won two games in a row all year. We'll enjoy this one but straight away you start to think about North Queensland and how important that game is. The league is tight but I believe we can still do some very big things this year."