Phoenix on track for finals: Herbert

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert firmly believes his outfit is still on track for a finals berth despite suffering a 2-0 loss to Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert firmly believes his outfit is still on track for a finals berth despite suffering a 2-0 loss to Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Tipped by many experts to claim this season's Hyundai A-League wooden spoon, the unfashionable Phoenix, after a slow start, really began to hit their straps over the past month, prior to Friday's reversal.

Just how far Wellington's Cinderella story can progress is largely dependent on the club improving its historical and ongoing woeful away form.

At home the Phoenix are impressive, winning 30 of 59 fixtures overall, but away they have collected the three points just 10 times in 58 matches, while managing to lose an astonishing 37 A-League encounters.

"We can be a finals side, that's for sure, we're probably going to turn the corner at the halfway mark and still be in the top six," Herbert said.

"I keep saying it every year but if there's a small margin of change there (earning points away from home), then we've got to back ourselves to be there.

"At the end of the day we were picked to finish last so we're travelling a bit higher than what most people expected."

Skipper Andrew Durante is well aware of his team's history of throwing in Jekkyl and Hyde performances, at home and on the road.

"It's disappointing," Durante said. "We're good at home one week, poor on the road the next week, it's been the story of the existence of the Phoenix, not just this season.

"We had chances (Friday) but didn't put them away ... they (Adelaide) had a couple of chances and buried them and that's the difference.

"We can't keep doing this to ourselves, not collecting points on the road."

Herbert was left to rue some golden opportunities which went begging, notably striker Chris Greenacre's lunge in the 14th minute, which was blocked by the outstretched leg of Reds keeper and new skipper Eugene Galekovic, and a couple of Tim Brown efforts before half-time, one from just outside the box and the the other just before the interval, a header at the end of a set piece which bamboozled Galekovic only to smack into the woodwork.

"We had a few really good chances," Herbert said. "Last week we were pretty clinical in that area and this week we weren't."

"When we travel, those are the chances we need to put in the back of the net. We struggle with that and continued again tonight.

"Players are getting in good positions but (we're) just (missing) the ability to take it away and make the games a bit more comfortable for us."