Phoenix: Herbert not pushed

Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome has insisted Ricki Herbert was not pushed to resign from his head coach role.

Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome has insisted Ricki Herbert was not pushed to resign from his head coach role.

Herbert tendered his resignation to chairman Rob Morrison and the Phoenix board on Monday morning, although the club did not announce it until 24 hours later - after the players had heard about it via social media.

He will take up a new role as technical football advisor to the board.

"Rob has always said we were going to review his contract at the end of the year and that's what we were working towards," Dome said.

The Phoenix - who were talking about being title contenders at the start of the season - have struggled this campaign, particularly in trying to implement a more attacking brand of football that the owners have wanted.

They have won just once in the past nine matches and have managed only five wins from 22 games overall.

Herbert, who has juggled his New Zealand coaching commitments with his job at the Phoenix, was adamant after the 7-1 debacle against Sydney and the 5-0 thrashing against Central Coast that he wanted to remain in the job and he was quite bullish after Sunday's 2-2 draw against Adelaide United.

But by Monday morning he had decided he had had enough and that he wanted to focus on the All Whites' World Cup qualifying campaign.

"There's no doubt that Ricki has probably been thinking about this for a while and when he woke up on Monday morning he probably thought 'yeah'," Dome said.

"I think Ricki has certainly felt the pressure of results over the last couple of weeks and he's wanted to concentrate on the All Whites campaign.

"There wasn't any indication that it was coming. But he's a very honourable man so I think he's done what he felt was the right thing to do.

"He feels like there's a real need for fresh blood in the coaching area at the club and it's the right thing for everybody."

Dome said Herbert's new role, which will be reviewed at the end of next season, would include input on players and academies owners Welnix consortium are looking to establish.

He would not, however, be actively going out and signing players to the club.

"(But) there is certainly a very strong role for Ricki at the club for the foreseeable future," added Dome.

The process of finding Herbert's replacement has not started yet.

Assistant coach Chris Greenacre will manage the team for the remainder of the season.

"The reality is there are a lot of good coaches out there. We're not going to limit it to Australia, New Zealand. We'll go wide. We'll just see what's available. We'll see what turns up," Dome said.

He didn't believe the Phoenix's troubles on the field and lowly position on the ladder would affect the calibre of coaches that would apply for the job.

"The A-League is an attractive place for people to come. It's a great lifestyle this part of the world. We get coach applications all the time. I think it will be relatively easy."

He was also confident that Herbert's resignation would not affect the re-signing of players due to come off contract at the end of the season.

Regulars Mark Paston, Leo Bertos, Tony Lochhead, Dani Sanchez and Benjamin Totori as well as Alex Smith and recent arrivals Ian Hogg, Isaka Cernak and Corey Gameiro are not yet signed beyond the end of 2012-13.

"We have a football committee in the board that will continue with that process. It won't slow us down at all.

"Whenever a new coach comes in they are always inheriting players regardless of when they come. It doesn't change any of that."