Kalezic gets the feeling the Phoenix are rising

It’s taken half of the season but Wellington Phoenix boss Darije Kalezic says things are finally “going the right way” for his side.

While Phoenix remain the Hyundai A-League cellar-dwellers, they appear on the up following four points from their last two matches.

The ‘Nix were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night despite dominating large periods at Westpac Stadium.

Phoenix trailed 1-0 at the break before twin substitutes Nathan Burns and Matija Ljujic – the latter scoring a thunderbolt equaliser – turned the game.

“It’s not hard to be analyst of this game to say how the game was. In the first half we created five 100% chances and we didn’t score. From their first shot on goal, they scored a goal,” Kalezic told New Zealand’s Sky Sport.

“In the second half we made two changes and I think they [Wanderers] came one time in the box in 45 minutes.

“We create chance after chance and score just one goal. I have to be disappointed today with the result because only one team on the pitch deserved three points.”

It’s probably no surprise Phoenix’s form turnaround has coincided with the January acquisitions of Burns and Ljujic.

Nathan Burns

The pair have come off the bench for the last two games and Kalezic hinted they could both be close to a start soon, although they probably aren’t yet ready for 90 minutes.

You can understand Kalezic’s frustration, with Phoenix having 23 shots at goal over the 90 minutes [compared to nine by the Wanderers] but only managing the one goal.

“All we can do is train on the training pitch and keep shooting and try to shoot between the posts. That’s all we can do,” a philosophical Kalezic said.

“But let’s be satisfied. We know how things were the last couple of months and it’s obvious in the New Year things are going the right way.”

The Phoenix will get a good test of their recent resurgence next weekend as they travel to Newcastle to play the high-flying Jets on Saturday.