McKinna: Mariners lack spark

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna said there was no magic wand that would raise his side from its five-match Hyundai A-League losing streak.

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna said there was no magic wand that would raise his side from its five-match Hyundai A-League losing streak.

McKinna said his side would need to get its confidence back before its next home match against North Queensland.

"We need to lift our chins up and find that spark," McKinna said after his team's New Year's Eve loss to Wellington.

"I'll be looking for some spark about the place to try and inject."

He described Thursday-s 2-0 defeat to the Phoenix as 'three points we butchered'.

"The first half was okay," he said. "We got some quality balls in the box but after we went down a goal, we didn't do well enough in the second half."

McKinna struggled for positives after the match but said he was pleased with the efforts of goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne and striker Nik Mrdja.

While the Mariners will welcome back Danny Vukovic and Dean Heffernan from Qantas Socceroos commitments and Nigel Boogaard from suspension for their next match, McKinna said they would strengthen the squad but wouldn't be a miracle cure.

"We can't wave a magic wand to get the confidence back, it happens when you start winning games," he said.

"You don't go from being a good team five weeks ago to being a poor team."

The significance of the result wasn't lost on Wellington skipper Andrew Durante.

"We spoke about how important this match was all week," Durante said. "We were fired up, we wanted it and I think it showed."

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert was satisfied with the efforts of his players.

"I think we were good all around the park today," Herbert said.

He was also especially happy with securing his side's second away win of the season.

"If we're going to be a finals team then we're going to have to perform away," he said.

Herbert spoke highly of two-goal hero Paul Ifill, who he said was 'a real handful' for the entire match.