Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay says the thrashing dished out by Adelaide United the last time the two sides met played a key role in helping the Nix turn around their season.
The Phoenix are priced at 40/1 to win the 2021/22 A-League grand final and after winning the last three games on the spin they have boosted their chances of playing finals.
The Nix may be flying now and will be looking to keep the run going when they face Adelaide on Saturday but back on New Year's Day they were thrashed 4-0 at Coopers Stadium.
It was their fourth defeat in a row and Talay also made the headlines for taking off captain Alex Rufer as part of a triple substitution at half-time.
It was hard to take at the time, but Talay says they learned a lot from that game and the manner of the defeat has played a part in their revival.
"There's a lot of learning moments from that game," Talay said. "I think a lot of players would have learned at halftime from that game as well when I made a few substitutions.
"We've grown as a team and grown as individuals as well. We have a bit more consistency with the squad and the starting XI and a few more experienced players involved as well. That's in the past, we learn from our past, and we look ahead. It's a very important game that we want to win and continue on this run."
Adelaide are just one point and one place above Wellington on the ladder but have played two games more. They have had a bit of extra rest as well and Talay thinks that could play a part in Saturday's game.
"Adelaide is still a very, very good side," Talay added. "The difference between us and them now is that we played a game on Wednesday, but they haven't played a game so there'll be a lot fresher than what we are on Saturday."