Phoenix want another scalp

Wellington Phoenix tackle the Melbourne Heart on Sunday determined to build on their 2-1 win against Sydney FC.

Wellington Phoenix tackle the Melbourne Heart on Sunday determined to build on their 2-1 win against Sydney FC.

Despite all the upheaval the club faced during the pre-season and the injury crisis that followed in the opening weeks of the Hyundai A-League, the Phoenix remain just two points off fourth-placed Sydney after a run of two wins, three draws and three losses.

The last three weeks have produced an encouraging draw against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, a 1-1 result against Adelaide in Auckland and the win against the Sky Blues at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

"I think the last three weeks have been pretty good," said coach Ricki Herbert.

"I've been saying for a while that we've been playing okay."

"We probably took it to another level last weekend and it was a good performance."

"The League is always tight. There's a long way to go and we're just concentrating on Melbourne Heart now."

Heart have the same record as the Phoenix this season, although they have scored and conceded 11 goals - two more than the Phoenix - to sit seventh on the ladder, a spot above this Sunday's visitors to Morwell, South Eastern Victoria.

"Apart from Brisbane most teams have gone through a little run where they could have been a bit better," said Herbert.

"They will be desperate to get back after copping three last week (against Central Coast)."

"They will be hungry but we travel there with some good form too."

Wellington will also be boosted by the return of Dani Sanchez from injury. The Spanish midfielder has missed the past three matches with a hip flexor injury.

"Dani will be all right to travel. He's trained well this week and looks okay," said Herbert.

It is unlikely the New Zealander will make any changes to his starting XI given the performance last week so Sanchez, who replaces Alex Smith in the squad, will probably find himself on the bench at LaTrobe City Stadium.

"The side did quite last week and we just want to be careful with him a little bit," added Herbert. "But he's a chance to feature."

The biggest selection headache for Herbert could be in goal after Tony Warner conceded a soft goal to Sydney's Bruno Cazarine.

New Zealand No.1 Mark Paston hasn't played since the opening round.

"He (Warner) hasn't done a lot wrong really. I keep saying it every week but it is 50-50 on who plays," Herbert said.

"It would be tough (missing selection) but Mark's been superb. His attitude is great. His chance will come and I'm sure he'll grab it and hopefully not let go."