Kossie not over result

A fired up John Kosmina admits he is yet to come to terms with his side's disappointing draw with arch rivals the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night.

A fired up John Kosmina admits he is yet to come to terms with his side's disappointing draw with arch rivals the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night.

Having held a three-goal buffer midway through the second stanza, the Sydney siders failed to contain the fast-finishing Mariners who stole a valuable point with three dramatic goals.

"I still haven't got over it, I just said that to them (the players) then I've been cranky all week," Kosmina said on Thursday.

"That was worse than losing to give something away like that because you had it right in the palm of your hand."

"But I think there were legitimate reasons why (it happened) and our inexperience was probably one of the more valid ones."

"So I think there was a good lesson to be learned for everybody including myself about just how we went about things in the last 20 minutes of the game."

Injuries and suspension forced Kosmina to put his faith in an inexperienced back-four last start and the coach admits the return of skipper Tony Popovic from injury for Friday's clash with the Wellington Phoenix could not have come at a better time.

"No disrespect to the players that played last week (but) had 'Popo' been on the field we wouldn't have got ourselves into that situation in terms of his leadership," Kosmina said.

Defender Iain Fyfe is also back from suspension but will start from the bench alongside marquee man John Aloisi.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it," he said of the decision to keep his star recruit on the sidelines.

"And 'Bridgey' (Mark Bridge) does a good job as a point man and it'll give Johnny a chance to play himself into some form."

"We're doing some extra work on his condition as well because he did miss a lot of the pre-season and maybe we could have kept him out a bit longer just to get his base level up - but I'm still happy with his progress."

Kosmina conceded complacency cost his side the three points against the Mariners but promised there would not be a repeat against the bottom-placed Phoenix.

"I don't thing anyone's going to be complacent this week after what happened last week and Wellington have done us twice so far," he said.

"They beat us in the pre-season cup and they came back from behind - we were leading 2-0 at half-time … and they rolled us over there (in round-six) in a game that we dominated for the first 35-40 minutes."

"But we didn't finish them off when we had the chance and we got punished for that in the second half because they had a good go at us."