Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay has praised Jaushua Sotirio for bouncing back from missing a sitter in the first half to score two after the break in a 3-1 win over Macarthur.
The Nix are priced at 4/1 to finish in the top six of the A-League and the win over the Bulls saw them jump up five places to seventh place on the ladder.
Wellington were leading 1-0 at half-time thanks to a goal from Reno Piscopo but they should have been further in front as Sotirio had two great chances to put the game out of sight.
He missed them both and former Wellington playmaker Ulises Davila made matters worse for Sotirio when he grabbed the equaliser for Macarthur after the break.
But Sotirio then showed great courage to score the next two goals and earn his side a crucial three points.
"I think Jaushy could have scored a couple more goals in the first half. We could have [been] two or three nil up and killed the game after 45 minutes," Talay told reporters after the game.
"But as we like it we always do it the hard way. We let them in the game with an error that we made but I think performance-wise the boys were fantastic today."
Talay also praised Sotirio for not feeling sorry for himself and was pleased with the way he picked himself up in the second half.
"He was a little bit upset [at halftime], he was a little bit down but for me that’s normal. He’s got in the right areas and hasn’t capitalised on it," Talay added.
"But the main thing is we keep it positive in the changing room and he keeps going again and he rewarded himself by being positive in the second-half."