Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has praised his side’s character after coming from a goal behind to beat Central Coast Mariners 2-1 in Gosford on Saturday afternoon.
An own goal from Phoenix defender Tom Doyle gifted the Mariners the lead before goals to Michael McGlinchey and Nathan Burns handed Wellington a rare away win.
“I thought the goal they scored was against the run of play so the character that the boys displayed was first class,” Merrick said.
“It’s not easy to come here to Gosford to play against the Mariners, they’re a good side and they don’t give away many points.
“To come from behind and score two goals, the second goal was particularly classy which shows we can play good football.”
Merrick lauded the performance of attacking midfielder Michael McGlinchey who produced a man of the match performance despite drawing the ire of his former club’s supporters.
“He was fantastic, he didn’t let it get to him and I think he’s got a lot of fans here,” he said.
“You hear a minority group but the majority I think appreciated that he was here for five years, did a good a job and helped them win a Premiership and a Championship.
“Now he’s moved on, he’s certainly a favourite with our fans. He’s fitted into the team so well so quickly.”
Wellington’s victory ended a five-game losing streak stemming back to last season and Merrick admitted his side needs to address their consistency if they are challenge this season.
“I’m a great believer in getting three points home and away. I just don’t believe our home stadium should be a fortress, I think everywhere is for three points,” he said.
“That’s the attitude you’ve got to have if you’re going to win something and if you play away from home for a draw you’re not going to get far.”