DeVere hails Taylor's Phoenix influence

Daniel Gilhooly
English defender Steven Taylor assumed the Wellington captaincy this season

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 what looked a sure-fire goal.

A veteran of almost 200 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 hasn'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, who he made more than 100 appearance for across two lengthy stints, for the first time.

However, 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."