Wellington Phoenix may have been blown away on the park on Monday night, but coach Ernie Merrick was flattered with the support the club has received from the Australian public off it.
Phoenix were recently denied a new 10-year licence by Football Federation Australia and there has been extreme doubt cast over the club's future.
Their 3-0 loss against Melbourne Victory on Monday was the first time the club had played since the release last week.
'Save the Nix' banners were displayed by both sets of supporters as 24,934 turned out for the yearly Melbourne Cup eve clash.
Ernie Merrick said he was flattered by the support Phoenix have recieved in the past few days.
“We get a great deal of support in New Zealand but the support we’ve gotten over here is fantastic, from the clubs, from coaches and from the fans,” he said.
Besart Berisha hit a double while an Andy Durante own goal sealed Victory's second win of the season.
The game was destined to be an entertaining one from the outset, with both teams playing with a great intensity from the kick-off.
Berisha opened the scoring after just ten minutes and Victory could have had at least three or four goals before half-time.
“We got a really good crowd tonight … helping Victory have a crowd of 25,000 says something," Merrick added.
“It was an exciting game and we play the kind of football that people want to see.”comments