Improvement the way up for Brisbane

Continually striving for improvement, rather than a radical change in playing philosophy, is how Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou believes his side can find their winning groove again.

Continually striving for improvement, rather than a radical change in playing philosophy, is how Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou believes his side can find their winning groove again.

Brisbane lost 2-0 to a disciplined Wellington Phoenix at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin despite controlling possession for much of the match.

The result now means Brisbane has lost three games in succession following on from the amazing run of 36 unbeaten which was punctuated by clinching the Hyundai A-League Championship in March.

However, Postecoglou said he believed the club-s over-arching football philosophy would prevail through the difficult times.

“All along we-ve said we were about playing the game a certain way and we-re on that journey and we-ll continue on that journey wherever that takes us, good or bad,” Postecoglou said.

“I think things will turn around very quickly results-wise, but more important for us it-s just about being a better team and doing what we do better.

“I take total responsibility for the way we play and the way we approach things.

“It would have been very easy for us tonight, coming off the back of two losses, to play defensively, clear our lines and try to hold on for a draw.

“Everyone would be happy and saying we-ve turned it around, but it-s not what we-re about.

“We-ll keep doing what we-re doing because ultimately that-ll produce better players and make us a better team.

“It-s about us being the best team we can be.”

Wellington went ahead on 26 minutes very much against the run of play when Paul Ifill profited from a significant slice of luck.

Beating the offside trap, the Phoenix striker was shadowed by Matt Jurman and his shot took a wicked deflection off the Brisbane defender-s leg to loop over a helpless Michael Theoklitos.

The goal galvanised Brisbane and they threatened twice in the space of a few minutes.

First, Issey Nakajim-Farran found himself some space in the box, but his shot was easily saved by Tony Warner in the Phoenix goal.

Then Mitch Nichols found himself on the end of a flowing Roar move down the right, but he hit Ivan Franjic-s cross over the bar from just inside the box.

Brisbane started the second half with early pressure on the home side with two consecutive corners leading to a free header from Mohamed Adnan, but the Bahraini-s header was again well dealt with by Warner.

Nakajima-Farran was the next to threaten, but his shot lacked the power to seriously trouble Warner.

Despite Brisbane-s pressure they were struggling to find space in the box for any clear opportunities to put in a quality strike in goal.

The contest was effectively over on 82 minutes when Nick Ward sprung the offside trap and calmly slotted home one-on-one with Theoklitos.

Franjic had a well-struck snap shot saved low by Warner, in an effort which was the first serious test of the Wellington keeper.

Substitute Jack Hingert had a late chance from a Franjic cut-back but he hit the ball just wide of the mark.

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Paul Ifill 27-, Nick Ward 82-) Brisbane Roar 0 Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin Referee: Gerard Parsons Crowd: 4628

Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny Muscat, 4. Brent Griffiths 6. Tim Brown, 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul Ifill (24. Alex Smith 81-), 9. Chris Greenacre, 12. Nicky Ward, 17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund, 20 Tony Warner (GK), 22. Andrew Durante (c)

Substitutes not used: 1. Mark Paston (GK), 11. Daniel, 15. Cameron Lindsay

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 3. Shane Stefanutto (c), 4. Matt Jurman , 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 9. Kofi Danning (8. Massimo Murdocca 64-), 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran (24. Nick Fitzgerald 77-), 14. Rocky Visconte (19. Jack Hingert77-), 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols

Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK)

Yellow cards: Matt Jurman (8-), Mitch Nichols (80-)

Red cards: Nil