Ricki wanted more time

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is perplexed by the decision to schedule their Hyundai A-League elimination semi-final against Adelaide United on Friday night.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is perplexed by the decision to schedule their Hyundai A-League elimination semi-final against Adelaide United on Friday night.

The Phoenix will have the shortest turnaround of all six teams in action next week after booking their place in the play-offs with a 3-1 win over North Queensland Fury on Sunday evening.

Brisbane Roar and Central Coast will play the first leg of their major semi-final on Saturday before Gold Coast United take on Melbourne Victory in their elimination semi-final on Sunday.

The Roar and Adelaide have a week between fixtures, Central Coast six days, Gold Coast eight days and Victory nine days but the Phoenix, who also have to factor in travel to Australia, have just five days between matches.

"I think the club has requested a reason behind it," Herbert said after his side's win at Westpac Stadium.

"We are the last game of this weekend and we'll be the first one of the next. I think the travel (in recent weeks) hasn't been kind to us either. We had to reschedule the game against Brisbane, which we had to accommodate and we were very supportive of that decision."

"This makes it a little bit tough. You're talking about the finals series. You want the two best sides on that day given the best opportunity to be successful."

"I kind of think we are behind the eight ball a little bit on that. But we'll draw on a little bit of character. We just have to deal with it."

Wellington's shock 1-0 win at Hindmarsh Stadium last weekend will give them confidence heading into the re-match, as will the form they showed in dispatching the Fury on Sunday.

Goals from Chris Greenacre and Dylan Macallister in the first 11 minutes and a last-gasp penalty from goalkeeper Danny Vukovic ensured the Phoenix back-to-back visits to the finals after Brett Studman scored for the Fury midway through the second half then gave up the penalty in added time and got sent-off for his efforts.

Wellington will be bolstered further by the return of captain Andrew Durante from suspension and Herbert hinted even Paul Ifill could be in contention after he returned to training following his leg and ankle injury which threatened to end his season prematurely.

"Paul will train on Tuesday. He's running injury free so he's champing at the bit to be part of it," said Herbert.

"He's probably a little bit short (of full-fitness) but we may take him.

"He's been an excellent player for us. If it's right we'll use him. If it's not we won't. I think it's probably still marginal. But there's probably a reasonable chance that he will travel."