Sleepy start kills Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert rued his side's lack of concentration as a 20-minute spell reaped three goals to help Sydney FC to a 3-1 victory at the SFS on Sunday.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert rued his side's lack of concentration as a 20-minute spell reaped three goals to help Sydney FC to a 3-1 victory at the SFS on Sunday.

After keeper Mark Paston left the field with a hip injury on seven minutes, the Phoenix were swiftly punished by Sydney FC which slammed in three goals by the 34th minute to Bridge (two) and Steve Corica.

It effectively put the game out of reach of Wellington despite a sniff of a comeback in the second 45 minutes.

"A little spell when we kind of lost our way a little bit and we got punished for it," Herbert said after the game.

"It's not the first time it's happened in the A-League that if you fall into that sort of zone you can get punished."

Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante agreed his side simply wasn't good enough on the day.

"We're not kidding ourselves, they deserved the win. It's not good enough from us," he said.

Herbert was adamant last week's 6-0 thumping of Gold Coast had nothing to do with the slow start against the Sky Blues.

But the coach was happy with the character shown by his side in the second half when it scored a consolation goal and could've had a second had Daniel's retaken penalty not been saved by Clint Bolton.

"At least there was a little bit of pride and character and we turned it. I don't like losing that's for sure, but there was some character and the second half was a lot more prominent for us and that's important," he said.

"Games like that can easy run away from you as you saw last week at our home ground. But we don't have a lot of time. We back up on Wednesday and we need to get back to winning ways."

The Phoenix play the Jets in Wellington on Wednesday night in a rescheduled Hyundai A-League fixture.