A-League: Oskar Zawada header helps Wellington Phoenix claim back-to-back wins to move up ladder

The Wellington Phoenix have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this A-League men's season to jump into the top six.

The Phoenix have beaten the Brisbane Roar 1-0 in Redcliffe, courtesy of a second-half header from Polish striker Oskar Zawada.

Zawada scores.
Zawada scores. Photo credit: Photosport

It is Zawada's fifth goal in his past seven games and has lifted the Nix from seventh to fourth on the ladder and just a point off third.

"We brought him in to score goals. He's our striker," Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay told media post-match when asked about his number nine.

"Sometimes foreign players take a bit of time to adjust to their team and also to adjust to the competition and I think he's starting to realise and understand the way that we play and where he needs to be, especially when we're attacking. And he does a lot of work for the team off the ball as well.

"He's a very important player for us and hopefully he can continue in this fashion."

The Phoenix are just the second team this season to leave Brisbane with three points and it is the first time in club history they've recorded back-to-back wins over the Roar in Queensland.

"Brisbane haven't conceded a lot of goals this season. Defensively they set up very well and they work as a unit.

"We spoke about it before the game about being patient and trying to break them down. We knew it would be a close game and I said to them at halftime one goal will win this game.

"I think this is a very important game, a very big game for us to walk away with three points."

Talay is proud of how the players overcame their travel botch-up, which forced the team to fly through Sydney and wait for four hours at the airport before heading to Brisbane.

"The preparation for me wasn't ideal, but overall the boys worked really hard and they grinded out the result.

"We had some good moments with the ball and I don't think we gave anything. Oli (Sail) made a fantastic towards the back end and that's why he's there and like I said this is a very important win for us.

"We've been playing some good football without getting the results at times, but today I think the boys worked hard. It was a bit of a grind and they grinded through it, especially after we scored and we changed our formation to defend a little bit more."

Ufuk Talay made two enforced changes to the XI which started last Saturday's dramatic 1-0 win at Sydney FC. Yan Sasse came in to replace suspended attacking midfielder Bozhidar Kraev and Josh Laws was named at centreback in place of Scott Wootton, who is nursing a calf strain. Finn Surman, Sam Sutton and Noah Karunaratne came on to the bench.

The Wellington Phoenix men play second-placed Central Coast Mariners in Wellington next Sunday.