Phoenix woes mount

Wellington's injury crisis has shown no sign of easing off with fresh new concerns over the fitness of four key players after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Gold Coast United.

Wellington's injury crisis has shown no sign of easing off with fresh new concerns over the fitness of four key players after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Gold Coast United.

The Phoenix only just managed to send 17 fit and available players over to Skilled Park, and they did a fine job given the circumstances by keeping the hosts goalless for the majority of the afternoon.

It took until the dying embers of the match for United to score with James Brown's long-distance wonder strike cancelling out the 13th minute goal from Chris Greenacre that had put Wellington ahead.

But Vince Lia (knee), Dani Sanchez (calf cramp) and Paul Ifill (groin) were all substituted from the game in the second half, and heroic shotstopper Mark Paston spent the last portion of the match in discomfort after a mystery strain to his ribs.

All bar Sanchez would appear to be in some doubt at this early stage for next week's meeting with Newcastle at Westpac Stadium, with Lia the biggest concern.

With Lucas Pantelis already ruled out for the season and Mirjan Pavlovic sidelined for the next two months, it's awful timing.

But two new recruits will be available for selection for the Jets clash, easing the selection headache somewhat for coach Ricki Herbert.

"We get (Gold Coast discard) Alex Smith, who's joined us now, and a young boy from Europe (Cameron Lindsay, who was part of the academy at Blackburn Rovers), but hopefully we can mend a couple and get back," he said.

"We've got a small squad, we haven't gone into the market in any big way at all, so the retention's going to be really important for us."

"We're certainly looking forward to Newcastle at home next week."

It almost looked like the Phoenix would head into that game against the Jets with three points already in the bag, until Brown's wicked curling effort.

"It was a decent one that dipped under the bar unfortunately for us," said Paston, who was instrumental in Wellington's performance with a string of fine saves keeping the Kiwis in the contest.

"Gold Coast just had the momentum at the time and we couldn't get hold of the ball and keep it for long enough."

"But we'll take the point, even though it would have been nice to walk away with three."

Paston took some pride out of his side's performance against United, given the turbulence surrounding the club in the wake of their recent ownership dramas.

"It's been challenging, but the guys are really looking forward to just playing football now and that showed tonight in large patches," he said.

His coach echoed those remarks, with Herbert saying: "There's been a little bit of turmoil over the last few months but I've always said it's a resilient group of boys."

"We had a job to do today and we go back with something, and that was really important for us."