Phoenix upbeat after Cup loss

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert was philosophical following defeat at the hands of Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League Pre-Season Cup final on Wednesday.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert was philosophical following defeat at the hands of Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League Pre-Season Cup final on Wednesday.

Following a tense 90 minutes of action, the Phoenix went down 7-8 in an agonizingly close penalty shoot-out against their Australian counterparts.

Despite the defeat, stand-in captain Jon McKain declared himself pleased with his side's spirit.

"I thought we played well out there today, but obviously the result wasn't to be," he said. "But I thought we showed out there over 90 minutes that we're a very good side. But once it goes to penalties, it's a bit of a lottery."

McKain also hailed the influence of Melbourne goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos, who produced an outstanding display between the posts.

"Their 'keeper was man of the match tonight, and I think that kind of speaks for itself," he said.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert was also complementary about his side's performance.

"I think we played some great football out there for 90 minutes tonight," he said.

"If you look at the pre-season campaign for us, we went undefeated in normal time for four matches."

"Given the chances we created, I think we did more than enough to win the game tonight, but sometimes the ball doesn't break your way, but that's just football."

Despite the defeat, Herbert was upbeat about the way the Phoenix performed through the competition and believes they are in good shape in the lead-up to the beginning of the Hyundai A-League competition.

"I think our preparation has been excellent, and we have played some quality football," he said.

"I think you saw the two best sides in pre-season out there tonight, and we proved that we've got what it takes to win matches. I also think it's fair to say that we'll play worse than we did tonight during the season and still win games."

The Wellington Phoenix open their Hyundai A-League campaign with a match against the Queensland Roar at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on August 19, and Herbert will be looking to take the match to their opponents.

"Queensland was a side we struggled with last year, especially when we played them over there. But I did think that the last time we played them we probably should have won" he said.

"But this year, we've had a proper build-up, especially with a match against them in pre-season. We'll be positive and hopefully will come out of the match with a result."