Herbert calls for common sense

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has called for 'common sense' scheduling following his side's season-ending 1-0 loss to Adelaide United in Friday's Hyundai A-League elimination final at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has called for 'common sense' scheduling following his side's season-ending 1-0 loss to Adelaide United in Friday's Hyundai A-League elimination final at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The Phoenix dominated much of the contest but just couldn't find the back of the net against a Reds outfit which, after weathering the early storm, scored in the 70th minute through captain Travis Dodd and had the better of the back end of the contest against the tiring visitors.

Pivotally, Adelaide had a full week to prepare for the contest compared to Wellington's five days and the Phoenix's chances were further hindered by the fact the game was played on heavy turf in pouring, unseasonal rain, United's two days bonus rest proving even more decisive.

"It's a pretty common sense decision isn't it," Herbert said of the prospect of all matches of the minor round's final week being played on the same day.

"I have seen every single week a complaint or a moan from a coach over here about having to back up."

"We have never, ever entered into that discussion and we never will."

"But for a finals series, you kind of think that you might be given a little bit of relief. But having said that, we were good enough in the first half to win the game anyway."

The opening of the heavens also resulted in wardrobe problems for Herbert, which left the Kiwi mentor similarly unimpressed.

"I'll put in a bill for dry cleaning for a pair of wet trousers," he said, straight-faced.

"It's ridiculous sitting out in the middle of the rain when you've got a purpose-built football stadium."

Wellington captain Adrian Durante felt the pinch as the night wore on, as did a number of his team-mates.

"It wasn't ideal for a semi-final," he said.

"You'd like sunny, warm conditions but it wasn't to be - I don't think it hindered the game too much - it was a little bit slippery out there and at times it was a bit tough."

"I was definitely tired ... I looked up at the clock at 60 minutes and I was starting to breathe pretty heavily."

"I was looking around and there was some tired legs and silly mistakes started creeping into our game."

"It was never going to be easy. Even in good conditions it was going to be tough, but to have heavy legs and a sloppy field was just that little bit harder for us."

"The boys are pretty gutted - we really put it to them at times but didn't take our chances. But I'm proud of them - they were fantastic."

Herbert believed his side did everything it could to progress to the second week of the major round and left nothing in the sheds.

"I think we probably did more than enough," he said. "I thought our first 60 minutes were enough to get us through to any next round, but we didn't."

"A poor performance I think you could be really disappointed, but at the end of the day we should have won. We had our shots, our corners but it's the front third that's the determining factor."

"The cards were dealt against us, coming here on the back of five days (break) and a month of rescheduled fixtures. You can only go out and play like that for 60 minutes."