Steven Taylor remains confident Wellington Phoenix are in a good place despite a blip on the radar early in the 2018-19 A-League season.
The Nix have now lost two matches in a row after going two games unbeaten in Rounds 1 and 2.
Melbourne City comfortably saw off the Nix 2-0 at AAMI Park on Friday night, themselves going a way to making amends for a poor performance against Sydney FC.
Goals from Ritchie De Laet and Bruno Fornaroli did the damage for City and Wellington struggled to forge a way back into the game, feeding on mere scraps for chances.
Mark Rudan’s men struggled to maintain possession against a dominant City and tested Eugene Galekovic just once through Sarpreet Singh in the first half.
Defeat brought the Nix back into the early-season mid-table fracas and was a second game running without scoring, all the while conceding five.
Still, wins against Newcastle Jets and a draw against Brisbane Roar in the campaign’s opening fortnight have seen the Nix double their points tally at the same stage last season.
AUCTION | The official away shirt signed by the player from Round 4 is up for grabs. There is one for each member of the squad with all net proceeds going to Royal NZ Returned & Services Association (RSA).
— Wellington Phoenix (@WgtnPhoenixFC) November 10, 2018
English hard man Taylor said he and his teammates walked off the Melbourne pitch feeling frustrated.
“For whatever reason, whatever’s gone on beforehand has happened and that’s history, it’s a new era and it’s exciting with a new gaffer,” he said after the game.
“He wants to test a few players and we’re taking the game to a lot of teams now. In the past, it’s probably been too negative.
“That’s why we want to go toe to toe with every player … it’s just who wants it more.
“I think the game plan was spot on in the first game of the season against Newcastle. Everyone wrote us off … everyone had us for the wooden spoon so there was a fire in my belly after that.
“We’ll bounce back from this. Last week was a nightmare night with the wind, it was horrific. But they (Western Sydney Wanderers) played the conditions better than we did.
“Today was different. I thought we could nick a draw, get a point at least … we’re frustrated.”
But while two defeats on the spin are hardly ideal, Taylor could still see signs of progress.
“We go into every game believing we can win and we expected that today. We came here to win and get the three points,” he added.
“The squad that we’ve got is exciting. We’ve got experience and youth, pace and power up front.
“It’s going to cause a lot of teams a lot of problems and it did tonight.
“You can see how frustrated they were getting in the first half. They couldn’t break us down, trying everything to get in between us.
“We had the pace and power. It just wasn’t our night.”
Wellington will enjoy a week off to accommodate for the international break before returning home to take on Adelaide United in Round 5.