Ifill can't explain form slump

Paul Ifill is a frustrated man. He's frustrated by his own form, not to mention the lack of consistency the Wellington Phoenix have shown in a stuttering first half of the season.

Paul Ifill is a frustrated man. He's frustrated by his own form, not to mention the lack of consistency the Wellington Phoenix have shown in a stuttering first half of the season.

To make matters worse, the Barbados international can't explain the reasons why last year's preliminary finalists are finding it so tough to string decent performances together.

"I don't think any of us, bar Manny Muscat, have been consistent enough and I really don't know why," Ifill lamented.

"We're here every day working hard trying to fix things and it just doesn't seem to be working come the weekend.

"I don't think we can train any harder or any longer. I really can't put my finger on it. It's frustrating at the moment."

Some in the team have suggested the lack of a settled starting XI has prevented any real progress from being made but Ifill disputes that.

"I don't think the players have been playing well enough to stay in the team and I include myself in that," he said. "It's been tough and it's been pretty tough for (coach) Ricki (Herbert) because he doesn't know what his best XI is because there are a lot of us who've not stepped up.

"I don't think anybody can say they've played anywhere near the level they did last season and that must be frustrating for him and obviously makes his job a lot harder."

Ifill also dismissed the idea he was suffering from second season blues after being one of the stand-outs in the competition last season. He lit up the competition then with his creative spark and his ability to beat the defence and was the Phoenix' leading goal-scoring with 13.

He admits he's been a shadow of that player so far this season, often being dispossessed or not able to get past his marker.

"Maybe I'm picking the ball up in the wrong position. Maybe I'm not going past people. There are so many things it can be and you keep looking at them until something happens," he said.

"Personally I think it's none of that. I'm just not playing well and sooner or later it's going to come good."

But he does concede that the players are down on confidence, particularly after their record-breaking unbeaten run at Westpac Stadium was brought to a shuddering halt by back-to-back losses at home.

"I think confidence is low if I'm honest. Confidence is low all around the park. But again, you're only ever one game away from fixing that."

"After the Perth game and the win there we returned home full of confidence thinking maybe we'd turned the corner. Obviously we hadn't and it was back down to earth with a bump (against Central Coast)."

"We just have to go to Newcastle and try and get the three points and hopefully back that up this time."