Central Coast Mariners boss Mike Mulvey said it is time “to trust in our youth” after the rock-bottom side showed they were "gripped by fear" in another Hyundai A-League defeat.
Wellington Phoenix dominated the Mariners at Westpac Stadium in Saturday’s 2-0 triumph, with first-half goals from Louis Fenton and Sarpreet Singh the least they deserved.
And Mulvey’s frustration was evident afterwards, claiming members of his winless team showed fear, something that he claimed was “part of this club”.
“It’s like a bit of a broken record … [we] shoot ourselves in the foot,” he said afterwards.
“You can’t keep saying ‘we give them credit for the second-half performance’ - we need to be on the ball, we need to be there in key moments and we weren’t today.
“It’s come to the time where we’ve got to trust in our youth. We’ve got to give the young lads a go.
“We had a couple of lads come on towards the end of the game, Josh Macdonald and Mario Shabow and they deserve game time now.
“They don’t have any fear. Some lads unfortunately get a little bit gripped by fear.
“It’s part of this club. For the last five years, since they won the title, there’s been very few games that they’ve won as a whole club over the last four years.
“Maybe that goes a lot deeper than I actually imagined before I joined the club.”
Mulvey insisted that despite his desire to give the squad’s younger players an opportunity, he would still be going all-out for victories.
Central Coast have won just one of their last 26 Hyundai A-League matches and Mulvey acknowledged they were “way off the pace at the moment”.
“Every game is really important. We want to win,” he added.
“I came to this club to win football games … nobody is happy with seeing a loss next to our name every game.
“We do have a plan but we need to now give some of our young lads a bit of a chance and next week [against Newcastle Jets] is a good opportunity to do that.”
Wellington Phoenix head coach Mark Rudan was happy with the discipline showed by his side, who moved up to fifth with victory.
“The most pleasing [thing] obviously is the result,” he said.
“We pushed the boys this week and we challenged them. A clean sheet is always a bonus and I think that was a sign of maturity there, towards the end, that we were able to keep the opposition out.
“We have conceded some late goals, particularly in the last 10 minutes, so we spoke about that and just making sure that we’re fully focused and concentrated.
“It was a very disciplined performance. Extremely disciplined.”