Wellington Phoenix boss Mark Rudan said his side need to start home fixtures in a more positive fashion after they slumped to a 3-0 home defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.
The Phoenix’s unbeaten start to the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season came to an end as goals from Alexander Baumjohann, Oriol Riera and Jordan O’Doherty fired the Wanderers to their first triumph of the campaign.
It made for a disappointing day for the Phoenix on Andrew Durante’s milestone occasion, the defender playing his 250th Hyundai A-League match for the Wellington-based club.
And while Rudan said he would not be getting “too carried away” with defeat, his side needed to be better.
“I thought they started the game extremely well which is probably one of the major disappointments that I had - that we weren’t on the front foot being at home,” he said.
“There’s a lot to dissect, there’s a lot to analyse as well but we move forward.
“It’s only Round 3, you take the good with the bad.
“You don’t get too carried away with the start, and you don’t get too carried away with this result as well.
“I think we just need to get back to basics again and just understand who we are and what we are about.”
Rudan brought in Max Burgess and Mitch Nichols for the clash and acknowledged afterwards that the changes did not work as he had hoped.
“I’ll take full responsibility - some of it didn’t work but that was my decision,” he added.
Western Sydney Wanderers assistant coach Jean-Paul de Marigny hailed his side’s movement in the final third, with Bruce Kamau and Roly Bonevacia particularly causing problems for the Phoenix.
“It’s all about exposing weaknesses … the boys executed it excellent,” he said.
“There was a lot of threat from us with forward runs in behind them.
“It was a fantastic effort from the boys and Markus [Babbel] and I are really really proud of them.”