A 1-1 draw isn't often a cause for celebration in professional sport, but Wellington coach Ricki Herbert says he felt 'extreme pride' for his side after they held on against Brisbane on Sunday afternoon.
A 1-1 draw isn't often a cause for celebration in professional sport, but Wellington coach Ricki Herbert says he felt "extreme pride" for his side after they held on against Brisbane on Sunday afternoon.
The Phoenix came to Suncorp Stadium - where the Roar haven't tasted defeat since 2009-10 - sitting at the foot of the Hyundai A-League ladder and over the 90 minutes, they conceded 19 shots to three.
If it had have been a fight it would have been stopped in the first round simply for the sheer one-sidedness of it all.
But the scrappy Kiwi unit held on. They threw themselves into the contest and at their vastly superior opponents - literally at times - and scrambled their way to their first competition point in four rounds.
Herbert said it wasn't quite as good as a win, but his expression and demeanour said otherwise, and he did admit he's hoping the fighting performance will serve as a launching pad for an upturn of fortunes.
"It was an absolute credit to them. I'm extremely proud. We came here with a hugely depleted side - and that's no disrespect to the players tonight, I'm talking about the volume of players to select from," said Herbert.
"I don't think it can be (as good as a win) because we go away with one point. But the position we're in, the state of the season, the condition we've got with a small depth of players at the moment, I think most managers would be very pleased to come here with their best starting line-up no matter who they are and come away with a point."
"To do it tonight is special. It's great for us and might just give us a little spring in our step and you need that confidence to keep moving forward."
Herbert said the result was all the more pleasing considering the last minute addition of yet another player to their injury list and the fact Brisbane took the lead in just 11th minute.
"Dani (Sanchez) got injured (hip flexor) in the warm-up, so that's a late change, and then to bounce back from a goal down against the best team by a mile in the league is great character," he said.
"We'd planned and prepared for everything tonight and the way that we played, the game panned out to be that way. We were always going to be on the back foot against a side who will always keep coming at you."
"We came here with a very firm intention of blocking that three game losing streak. Things have been tough for us over the last five or six weeks. I can only praise the group tonight for being outstandingly resilient."
"I don't know what we've done, but we've run over someone along the way to keep picking these (injuries up)."
"All jokes aside, it's a tough time, but we're a football club, that's the industry you're in and you need to deal with that."