Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert wants the team which outplayed Sydney 2-0 in its A-League opener two weeks ago to step up again against a rampant Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
Herbert wasted no time in switching from All Whites coach mode into his club role, nabbing an early flight home after New Zealand's 3-0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Tahiti in Christchurch on Tuesday.
Assessing his players at training in Wellington on Wednesday morning, Herbert said prospects were promising as Phoenix looks to challenge a Roar team which demolished Melbourne Victory 5-0 in round two.
All the Phoenix's seven players away on international duty survived both home-and-away fixtures intact, while the mixture of seasoned pros and young guns who scrambled a 1-1 draw against Melbourne Heart on Sunday are also well primed.
Goalkeeper Mark Paston looks to have overcome the foot infection that meant Glen Moss donned the gloves for the All Whites in Papeete and Christchurch.
"I don't see the side being any different than maybe the opening side against Sydney, although Paul Ifill probably comes into the equation a lot more strongly," Herbert said.
Working his way back from an early-season knee injury, Ifill ran a full 90 minutes against Heart and, although the veteran striker picked up something of a groin niggle in Melbourne, Herbert doesn't expect that to be an issue in Wellington come Sunday.
He is again looking hard at Phoenix's attacking third, with Ifill, Belgian import Stein Huysegems, Solomon Islands international Benji Totori and local youngster Louis Fenton all presenting a wide range of potential combinations.
"A player like Paul needs a really good injection and performance on the pitch," Herbert said.
"But if you can get a good 60 or 70 minutes out of him, then you've got Totori or Louis coming on, you've got players that are going to keep causing problems.
"We haven't had that before."
Promising striker Tomi Juric has been lured to Western Sydney Wanderers on a two-year deal as coach Tony Popovic sets about tweaking his Premiers’ Plate winning side for next season.