Wellington coach Des Buckingham highlighted the importance of midfielder Michael McGlinchey after the veteran scored the only goal in Phoenix’s 1-0 win over Central Coast on Saturday.
McGlinchey proved the difference against his former club at Westpac Stadium, scoring within 10 minutes of his first match in over two months.
“Mikey brings a lot of experience to the team, we’ve got a very young squad,” Buckingham said.
“When we miss players like Mikey, with his vast amount of not just A-League games but experience around the club, it’s huge.
“He flagged a little bit in the second half and the plan was to get him off, but Mikey brings a hell of a lot to this team.”
Wellington’s victory – their first in five matches – sees the Kiwi club rise at least temporarily into seventh, above Western Sydney Wanderers.
Afforded the luxury of bringing Gui Finkler off the bench on Saturday, Buckingham believes the Kiwi club now boasts the necessary depth to become a force.
“It’s something this team has lacked possibly over the last couple of seasons,” he said.
“It’s a great selection headache. We’ve said if the players are not performing we’re in a position now to take them off.
“But what we would like to do is take them off because they’ve given everything they can and we’re in a position to actually change things up for the positive.”