Phoenix on the way up

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricky Herbert believes his side has turned a corner in its 2008/09 Hyundai A-League campaign after its 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Monday.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricky Herbert believes his side has turned a corner in its 2008/09 Hyundai A-League campaign after its 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Monday.

Wellington striker Shane Smeltz slotted two penalties to give his side a share of the points in the Round 7 encounter at EnergyAustralia Stadium. The draw means the Phoenix have grabbed four points from their last two matches after they upset Sydney last weekend.

"We were two points from 15 at the start and we have four from six and that is pretty decent," said Herbert after the match against Newcastle.

"That is good enough form to take you to the four if we can carry on, but that is all ahead of us now and if we are good enough we will do it."

"We were worthy of taking the lead and we were gifted a couple and they took their chances as well … that's football. I think 2-1 down away from home you chance your arm a bit … that is a bit more like us, I think if it had of been three weeks ago we probably would have lost the game."

The Phoenix boss said the confidence in the club had risen to match the commitment at training and on the pitch and said the side was now ready to make a charge in this year's championship.

"I think there is a much better spark and a real belief last week was decent for us and we got dragged through the media a bit (in a positive way) which doesn't do you any harm," he said.

"But I think we have shown the resolve and the character that is evident in the football club to turn that around and get us that four out of six."

However, Herbert said the club wasn't getting ahead of itself with its recent good form and was just looking at maintaining that level of play rather than ambitions as far as rankings on the Hyundai A-League table.

"Our ambitions don't change," he said. "We want to have a decent season wherever that positions us at the end of the year we don't know but we will certainly take a lot of confidence out of last week and today."

"The international break will allow us to get ready for the upcoming tough tasks of playing three out of the next games away from home."