Sigmund eyes strong season ahead for Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund said a change in philosophy and a ton of motivation has helped his side begin their 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season strongly.

Wellington Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund said a change in philosophy and a ton of motivation has helped his side begin their 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season strongly.

A 1-1 draw away with Gold Coast United and a 2-0 home win over the Newcastle Jets has seen them pick up four points as well as third spot on the table.

While six points were in their grasp - a Gold Coast equaliser with three minutes to play meant they had to settle for a draw - defender Sigmund said they were satisfied with their start to the season.

"I think when you look back you could probably say to yourself that you probable should have six points. But I think we're pretty happy, pretty good," he said.

"The pre-season wasn't the best. We were all over the place with what was happening at the club."

"I think the boys have got a bit of a motivation because everyone has written us off for the season. We're trying to find something special, work through and do the best we can."

Sigmund said the timing of the trip to nib Stadium, where they will play fellow unbeaten side Perth Glory on Sunday, was spot on for his side.

"It's a good one to get out of the way early," he said.

"When you head on the plane trying to go into Perth in January, February. Let alone the travel you've got the heat, so hopefully all going well it's not too hot at this time of the year."

"It's going to be tough, we know that. You never know what's going to happen but as I said we've got something special amongst the boys and we're going to have to work hard again and see what happens."

And it will be tough if their former team-mate Shane Smeltz and former trialist Billy Mehmet continue to score goals. Smeltz in particular has been in dangerous form and is fresh off scoring his a brace against the Heart last week.

"We all know how good Shane Smeltz is. For the last three to four years he's been scoring great goals. Every week you're up against good strikers and you've just got to take every week as it comes," Sigmund said.

"To be fair you have to give them no respect and play your own game."

As for his own game, Sigmund said a change in his philosophy in travelling has helped him so far this season, focusing on enjoying his time in Australia rather than bemoaning it.

"When we went over to Australia last season I used to sleep a lot to try and catch up on my sleep. Now I'm trying to get up and go out and do what you do when you're at home," he said.

"It might work, it might not, but I'm not going to feel sorry for myself. We've just got to go out there and do it."