A-League: Phoenix recruit Luke DeVere helps inflict agony on old outfit Brisbane

Luke DeVere's A-League shift to Wellington has come with benefits, none more than a weekly demonstration in leadership from centre-back partner Steven Taylor.

English veteran Taylor was at his influential best in Saturday's 2-1 home win over Brisbane - the Phoenix's first of the A-League season.

The Wellington skipper opened the scoring with a header of authority and pulled off some crucial defensive plays, including a goal-line clearance to deny 17-year-old Jordan Courtney-Perkins that looked a sure-fire goal.

A veteran of almost 200 English Premier League games, Taylor has lifted a cog since inheriting the captaincy this season, marshalling the backline alongside DeVere.

Former Roar defender DeVere said the 33-year-old's 'follow-me' approach was infectious and had injected the players with self-belief, even through five winless games.

"Steven's a fantastic player, and he led from the front with a goal and some great clearances, but he's more than that for the club," De Vere told AAP. "He's positive and a joy to play with for everyone.

"He's played at the highest level, so that speaks for itself, but he still has a good nature about him, so you can't help but feed off that."

While 30-year-old one-cap Socceroo DeVere can be called a defensive veteran, he said he hadn't stopped picking up tips since crossing the ditch in June.

DeVere and Taylor have been a constant at the base of a Phoenix side looking more compact than last year under Ufuk Talay, although - frustratingly - they're still to keep a clean sheet.

DeVere said it felt "different" facing Brisbane for the first time, after appearing more than 100 times for them across two lengthy stints.

But any difficulty associated with beating his former club was eased by the fact he had barely lined up alongside any of Saturday's opponents, such has been the overhaul of the Roar roster under Robbie Fowler.

"There were probably a couple of familiar faces, but for the most part, it was quite foreign," DeVere said. "Other than the familiar badge, there weren't too many guys you've trained and played.

"It probably made things easier from that sense, but I'll always have a soft spot for Brisbane."

AAP 

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