29 Oct 2018

Phoenix coach Mark Rudan has confidence in what he's building

8:59 am on 29 October 2018

The Phoenix coach Mark Rudan is confident in what he's building in Wellington and insists it isn't about proving anyone wrong as they continue to surprise this season.

Phoenix's coach Mark Rudan.

Phoenix's coach Mark Rudan. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Phoenix built on their first round upset of Newcastle with a scoreless draw in Brisbane on Sunday - one that could easily have gone their way if Steven Taylor hadn't blown the easiest of first half chances.

Despite their pluck, Wellington still sit outright last with bookies to win the A-League title.

And the club's very existence is under threat once the current licence agreement expires at the end of season 2019-20 - when two new teams will join the competition.

Rudan insists they aren't playing with a chip on their shoulder though, saying the club had outgrown those feelings.

"People say we lacked depth ... that's fair enough but what you saw (with Mitch Nichols and Nathan Burns entering the fray off the bench), we've got depth and quality to bring on," he said.

"That's expected (the criticism); it's happened every year and we're beyond that.

"We don't have marquee players, cheapest budget in the league ... but it's not even mentioned."

Rudan was impressed with Taylor's response to his first-half blunder, not that he was surprised.

"He was one of my first signings, having spoken to 20, 30 people about him it was unanimous what he could bring to the club," he said.

"I've got a clear vision of how I want to set this football club up knowing where they've been the last few years.

"We've got 18 players in unison."

Wellington had won just twice in their past 17 visits to Brisbane but entered on a high after toppling last year's grand finalists Newcastle last weekend.

Like in their 1-1 draw with Central Coast a week ago, the Roar probed and controlled a bulk of the contest but were unable to capitalise in front of 15,129 fans.

It was the Phoenix with the best early chance, though, when a rolling ball fell to former English Premier League defender Steven Taylor.

But the Englishman somehow hit the outside of the post from just two metres when an open net beckoned.

The former Newcastle United talent's shocker was quickly coined as the miss of the season on social media and proved to be the only clear-cut chance in an opening stanza littered with half-opportunities.

Phoenix coach Mark Rudan said Taylor showed tremendous character to regroup after the miss.

"I've got players who've got their head in their hands. They knew we could easily have won this game," he said.

"I'm glad we're talking about that rather than something else, those three letters starting with 'V' ... it's good for a change.

"He was bitterly disappointed, all over the shop and knew what a chance that was."

Rudan introduced former Roar marksman Mitch Nichols to boos in the 82nd minute while Nathan Burns joined him for the final 10 minutes but were unable to manufacture a winner.

Roar coach John Aloisi begged to differ from Rudan's assessment, believing it was his side that had emerged moral victors.

"It was a difficult night because we haven't really played against a team that has five at the back ... and found it hard to penetrate them," he said.

"We were the team that controlled the game and tried to break them down.

"We just lacked that sharpness in the final third, that was the difference."