Ricki Herbert has been riding on the crest of a wave for the past six months and yesterday was no exception.
The Wellington Phoenix coach guided his side, who were competing their first finals series, to week two of the play-offs when they defeated Perth Glory 4-2 on penalties (1-1 after extra time) at Westpac Stadium yesterday.
It has been a stellar season for Herbert who also led the New Zealand national team to the World Cup finals for the second time in the country’s history and after yesterday’s win, he was delighted his players were able to produce when it was required.
“We're through and we have another shot, so that's great," he said. "It was always going to be a tough, tight game and both teams had periods where they dominated and were under a bit of pressure.
"But that's finals football. We needed to get a result and we did."
Herbert went on to praise the performances of striker partners Chris Greenacre and Paul Ifill and goalkeeper Liam Reddy who were all instrumental in the character-building win.
“He's (Reddy) been great hasn't he?," he said "What I like about Liam and the other guys we've brought to the club - guys like Chris (Greenacre) and Paul (Ifill) - is that they've really taken onboard what we're all about and made it even bigger and better for us.
"We've kept that culture, strength and vision that the club's always been about and driven it home. Liam's played an incredible role, saving two (penalties) in a playoff like this is fantastic.
"But look at the contributions of the other guys from front to back - everyone put it out there and showed the spirit and determination to win the match."
And the 24,000-strong crowd was also lauded by the coach.
“I can't speak highly enough of Wellington,” he added.
"Fans have got two weeks now to get their tickets and I think the momentum will go on. I'd be surprised if we didn't get more than 24,000 for the next match."