No Excuses from Phoenix


There were no excuses from Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick after his team suffered a 5-0 loss to Melbourne Heart before 9765 fans at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

Arguably the A-League-s two form teams, despite their lowly rankings, going into the game, Heart turned in a top-class performance to stun the home side and the 9765 fans.

Going into the game the Phoenix had won six and drawn one of their previous eight games, but they were on the back foot from the opening exchanges.

The Phoenix good run was based on pressing the opposition from the first whistle, but this time it was the home side that was on the receiving end of that tactic.

From the moment Heart-s marquee man Orlando Engelaar gave goalkeeper Glen Moss no chance with a superb long-range strike in the 9th minute the Heart established their dominance.

A David Williams hat-trick and an unlucky own goal by Moss completed the scoring and left Merrick nonplussed.

“I can-t blame the midfield, the defence or the strikers,” Merrick said.

“It was just one of those days where everyone had an off day. The whole team performed poorly.

“Nothing went right; we couldn-t get our passing game going, but you have to give great credit to Heart.

“They closed us down, stopped Carlos (Hernandez) playing and stopped our midfield.

“Heart hit some terrific goals but the second was our mistake.

“We were well beaten and there are no excuses.

“We just have to look back and say we had a good run of eight games where we did well, put this behind us and move on.

“The good thing is that none of the players gave up and kept working.

“The most important thing now is how it affects our performance for the next two or three games.”

There is a short turnaround for the Phoenix with defending champions Central Coast Mariners to come on Friday in Gosford.

Wellington Phoenix: Glen Moss, Michael Boxall, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante (captain), Manny Muscat, Kenny Cunningham (Tyler Boyd 58m), Carlos Hernandez, Jason Hicks (Matthew Ridenton 46m) , Vince Lia, Stein Huysegems, Jeremy Brockie.