After back-to-back 3-1 losses to both Sydney clubs, Phoenix keeper Glen Moss says the team has "hit a hole" as they desperately battle for a spot in the six with eight rounds now remaining.
On Thursday night to kick off Round 19 in the Hyundai A-League, Phoenix were swept aside by an imperious Sydney FC 3-1 at Allianz Stadium.
This followed a loss by the same scoreline last week in New Plymouth against the red and black (currently in sixth).
And with a resurgent Wanderers yet to play, Phoenix could find themselves five points adrift of sixth spot by the end of this round.
“That’s one of our worst first halves of the season and coming off one of our worst performances of the season last week - we’re in a bit of a hole,” a dejected Moss - who made his 200th Hyundai A-League appearance on Thursday night - told Fox Sports after the game.
“The positive is we have the talent in the side to turn it around.
“And we’re still hanging in there for the top six. With enough games to go we can get in there," the former Victory and Gold Coast keeper said.
Phoenix are now in a form slump at the wrong time of the season with eight rounds to go.
Phoenix are next set to face Melbourne City at home next week in another difficult assignment, followed by a tough run-in to Round 27.
City is followed by Roar (away), Glory (home), Wanderers (away), Jets (home), Victory (away), Sydney (home), and Roar (away).
“We just need a few things to go our way. Some victories at home would be nice, obviously the travel hurts us a little," Moss added.