Durante: ‘Phoenix too sloppy in possession’

Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante was left to rue what might have been after Phoenix twice lead in Newcastle before losing 3-2 to the Jets on Saturday afternoon.

MATCH REPORT: Jets’ Danish striker the hero in five-goal thriller

The loss all but ends Phoenix’s finals hopes after a week in which the club’s licence was extended for 10 years. 

“It was disappointing,” Durante told ABC radio.

“We were a goal up and my own goal got them level which was disappointing but then we reacted and got back and scored to lead 2-1.

“And we weren’t really playing that well even being 2-1 up. It wasn’t a great game and then doing going down to 10 men really hurt us.

“And then they came home strong.”

Hamish Watson

The Jets made Phoenix pay after Hamish Watson’s red card with 20 minutes left. 

Nordstrand’s second goal soon after the send off put paid to the visitors’ hopes with a sublime finish to win the encounter at Hunter Stadium. 

“We were probably outnumbered too much on the flanks and they used that a lot and our passing wasn’t as crisp as last week [in the 5-2 win over Wanderers],” said Durante. 

Phoenix put out the same starting line up that stunned Wanderland last week.

Wellington Phoenix

“Maybe it’s the flight home and coming back again in a short time, and the hot weather again,” said Durante.

“But these are excuses. We weren’t good enough. We were a bit sloppy with possession.

“It’s hard to take because we want to be in the play-offs.”

Durante refused to talk about an incident during the game which resulted in some heated exchanges with him and some of the Jets at the final whistle.

“There was an incident in the game. I won’t talk about it. I’m sure it’ll be spoken about during the week.

“There was an incident in the game which I thought was pretty disgraceful.”