Williams lauded in defensive Phoenix role

David Williams celebrates a goal for the Wellington Phoenix Source: Getty Images

David Williams' late-season switch from striker to defender has been described as a genius move by Wellington teammate Steven Taylor.

Phoenix coach Mark Rudan turned plenty of heads in Sunday's 3-2 home win over Melbourne City by fielding Australian forward Williams in the troublesome right-back berth.

Even though the 31-year-old had scored 11 goals this season, he was thrust into an unfamiliar role after others had struggled to replace the injured Louis Fenton in recent weeks.

Williams looks to have made the position his own for Sunday's match against Premiers Perth Glory - followed by their first foray into the finals since 2015.

Taylor spent the majority of his 13 years at Premier League side Newcastle United and couldn't fault Williams' performance at both ends of the park against City, particularly in defence.

"He was magnificent. He hasn't played there before but he didn't look out of place one bit," Taylor said.

"For me to play next to him, he made my job easy. He was always wanting the ball.

"He's an experienced player, his positioning was fantastic."

Any fears that Williams' shift would impact on fellow-striker Roy Krishna evaporated as the Fijian star scored his first Phoenix hat-trick.

Taylor said Krishna's quality would be Wellington's trump card in the finals, pointing to the variety of finishes that have made up his league-leading 18-goal haul.

"The headers, left foot, right foot, everything is on," Taylor said.

"We know at any time of the game, he can deliver.

"He's a nightmare for defenders... and it's good for me to train against him every day."

Source AAP