Coach Jean-Paul De Marigny believes Western Sydney Wanderers' gritty 1-0 win over high-flying Wellington Phoenix is the tonic they needed to push for an improbable semi-final berth.
The Wanderers inflicted just a second defeat in eight matches on second-placed Phoenix thanks to substitute Kwame Yeboaha's 73rd-minute winner.
Despite sitting eighth, the Sydney side have lost just once in nine matches since De Marigny took the reins in January following the departure of Markus Babbel.
Friday's win pushes them four points shy of sixth-placed Adelaide United with three matches to play.
"It was very important and you know we're in a good place," De Marigny said.
"The players enjoy the environment we're giving them, they enjoy each other's company and that's important when you want to achieve things in football."
It was the third straight match the Wanderers secured points late and follows on from last Monday's last-gasp equaliser against Central Coast.
"We are a good unit who has proved we just don't want to lose games and that showed last week under duress," De Marigny said.
"They don't want to lose games; their mentality and mindset is towards that and it's very pleasing."
De Marigny reserved special praise for Yeboah, whose raw pace also resulted in the dismissal of Phoenix defender Luke DeVere a few minutes before the goal.
"He went through a rough time personally. We worked with him, we've got him smiling again and he is enjoying his football," he said.
The Wanderers face a quick turnaround against former coach Tony Popovic's Perth Glory on Tuesday before tackling Western United in a potentially decisive contest.
There was less good news for the Phoenix in their pursuit of a first top-two finish and double play-offs chance.
They will also be without DeVere, suspended for Wednesday's meeting against Brisbane Roar.
"It's just one game and we will learn from it," said Talay.
"The most important thing is we prepare well for the game and it is very important we walk away with three points."
Australian Associated Press