David Williams's late-season A-League switch from striker to defender has been described as a genius move by Wellington teammate and long-time English pro 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 Loui sFenton in recent weeks.
Williams looks to have made the position his own for Sunday's match against Premiers Plate winners Glory in Perth - followed by their first foray into the finals since 2015.
Taylor spent the majority of his 13 years at Premier League side Newcastle United as a right back but plays as a centre back for the Phoenix.
He couldn't fault Williams's performance at both ends of the park against City, but particularly his defensive work.
"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's 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-goalhaul.
"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."
The fifth-placed Phoenix can still finish fourth and host a match in the first round of the finals but their fate is initially in the hands of fourth-placed Adelaide.
If the Reds beat the Roar in Brisbane on Thursday night, Wellington will be consigned to finals football in Australia.