The Wellington Phoenix must keep attacking if they are to foot it with the classy Brisbane Roar, says striker Stein Huysegems.
Wellington Phoenix striker Stein Huysegems says playing away to A-League leaders Brisbane Roar is the ideal fixture one week after trumping Melbourne Victory 5-0.
After failing to win any of their first 10 games, the Phoenix are unbeaten in their last five, including four wins.
To overcome a wretched record in Brisbane on Friday, Huysegems says the Wellington club must persist with the attack-minded soccer introduced this year by coach Ernie Merrick.
He says the absence of Costa Rican midfielders Carlos Hernandez and Kenny Cunningham – both on international duty – and the enormous task of toppling the Roar in Brisbane have brought his team back to earth after their best performance of the season last Saturday.
“Of course a 5-0 win is good but we have to keep on playing the level we’re playing,” he said.
“I think we can beat anyone if our feet stay on the ground and we play like that.”
The two games against the Roar in Wellington this season have ended in 2-1 losses, both courtesy of late winners by Ivan Franjic.
Huysegems, who has scored seven goals this term, says they can’t let those results prompt a change of approach to what has worked so well under Merrick.
He says there has been a significant shift from the more stolid style endorsed by coaching predecessor Ricki Herbert.
“We’re playing a more offensive style of football and every game you know you’re going to get two-three chances.
“That’s the big difference to last year.”
Huysegems is poised to fill Hernandez’s attacking playmaking duties on Friday, leaving room for Jeremy Brockie to return as a starting striker.
The Belgian believes Brockie’s drought-breaking goal last week against the Victory will do wonders for the man who scored 16 times last season but whose confidence had plummeted in recent weeks.
“As a striker it’s important that you have a lot of confidence – a feeling that you can do everything good and not wrong.
“He had some tough misses but he can always score a goal.”
The Phoenix have endured eight losses and two draws in 10 A-League matches in Brisbane.