Football 2 years ago

FFA, Phoenix turn up heat on NZ Football

  • FFA, Phoenix turn up heat on NZ Football

Wanted: More goal scorers for the Wellington Phoenix A-League side.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick lamented the lack of regular marksmen for his side after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Sunday.

Although the home team had a dozen more shots, Wellington only had two less on target.

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Former Mariners star Michael McGlinchey produced a sublime finish for the visitors only goal, but Merrick underlined the Kiwi international was one of his team's few reliable avenues to goal.

"I think we really need to put the ball in the net more often and we need to have more players stepping up to be goalscorers," Merrick said.

"At the moment, it's McGlinchey and Roy Krishna and we need more."

He also wanted his side to get more players into scoring positions in the penalty area and was philosophical about the Mariner's equaliser which came from one of their many corners.

"I think Mike McGlinchey, this season, has got the record of (most) assists and yet we don't finish where we get chances in the box," Merrick said.

"I felt we defended well from open play but you can't defend set plays, non-stop.

"But I thought it was a good point bouncing back from a 3-0 defeat."

Phoenix are looking forward to getting back home after successive away matches and management are hoping for a large crowd to help push the club's case to remain in the A-League.

Merrick was adamant his players hadn't been distracted by the events of the last couple of weeks when Phoenix's long-term future was called into question by comments from the FFA.

"I don't think they've been distracted at all, and we'll never use that as an excuse for not performing at our best.

"If they do, they will be dropped from the team."

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