A-League: Wellington Phoenix showing Aussies they're 'real deal'

Their value in the A-League has been a source of intense scrutiny since their 2007 debut, but now the Wellington Phoenix's record-breaking run is all anyone's talking about.

Sunday's 3-3 draw with Melbourne Victory has extended their unbeaten run to nine games and has tongues wagging across the Tasman.

In years gone by, a draw away to the defending champions would've been a good result for the Phoenix, but not anymore.

The players struggled to hide their disappointment, after letting a 3-1 advantage slip, and on Monday, coach Mark Rudan put it into perspective.

"Upon reflection and a good night's rest, you've got to take a lot of positives out of that," he said.

The attitude shows just how far the club's come. Their recent run of results has pundits across the Tasman calling it as they see it.

Even Victory coach Kevin Muscat agreed, when asked if the Phoenix were the real deal.

"Yep, yeah, yeah, they're a good team," he said.

The bandwagon's growing in New Zealand too.

Crowd figures for their last home match were nearly 4000 more than their season average, with twice as many eyes watching on TV.

But the ride's not over yet.

"We know how good we can be when we're good, but there are just a few minor little things that we need to change," said Rudan.

Already in unchartered territory, Rudan sees no limit for what his side can achieve this season.

For me, it's about making sure my players are in the moment, they continue to go through the process and they don't get too carried away.

"We don't take the confidence away from them, but I don't put a ceiling on them."

And he's looking to raise the roof against third-placed Sydney - his old firm - on Wednesday.

"We're at home, Sydney FC… it's going to be a fantastic event."


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