Phoenix players ‘lacking confidence’: Greenacre

Caretaker Wellington Phoenix coach Chris Greenacre admitted his side are playing with a lack of confidence following a heavy 4-1 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night.

Phoenix started brightly and went into the half-time interval level at 1-1 with youngster Sarpreet Singh’s wonderful strike cancelling out Brendon Santalab’s opener for the Wanderers.

But a quick-fire brace from Brendan Hamill – both from set pieces – and a late goal from Chris Ikonomidis fired the hosts to a comfortable victory.

Brendan Hamill and Josh Risdon
Wanderers eased to a 4-1 win.

“I thought they were the better side. Western Sydney played some terrific football at times,” Greenacre told reporters post-match.

“Our first half game plan worked quite well. I thought the players showed a lot of character to get back into the game. In the first 10 minutes (of the second half) we were well in it.

“I think it shows it’s a group who are lacking confidence. As soon as the first set-play went in, heads started to drop. When the second one goes in, the game’s dead and buried and out of our reach.

“Disappointed but for an hour we were pleasantly pleased with the performance. It’s been a tough week for the guys obviously with the old coach leaving. The nail in the coffin was the third one and especially from the set play.”

 With head coach Darije Kalezic parting ways with the club earlier this week, Greenacre has taken charge of the Phoenix for the remainder of the season.

With finals out of reach, Greenacre admitted some of the Kiwi club’s younger players could be given an opportunity in the final five rounds.

“Why not? We’ll have a look at it,” Greenacre said.

“We’ll get ourselves together after this and reassess it.

“At some point they’ve got to be tried and got to be tested. That’s the reason we have these academies and reserve team football – so that hopefully when they do get the opportunity they can have a run in the team.

"If finals are out of our reach, it might be something that we look at."