Phoenix coach frustrated by missed chances in WA

Wellington Phoenix coach Des Buckingham said his side should have been out of sight of Glory in the first half before they conceded twice to lose 2-1 in the WA capital on Thursday night.

In an entertaining clash to kick off Round 14, Phoenix took the lead in the first half but allowed Glory back in on the cusp of the break before Caltex Socceroo Adam Taggart scored what proved to be the winner for the hosts after the break. 

Glory reignite top four hopes with win over Wellington

Buckingham was left to lament an opening half where Phoenix could’ve made Glory pay and perhaps put the game beyond the hosts.

 “First half, and in the first 20 minutes, Shane’s [Smeltz] has had one [chance] Roy [Krishna] has had one, Kosta [Barbarouses] has had a couple and we need to be scoring those goals,” he told reporters after the game. 

“The game should’ve been put to bed in the first half. 

“It wasn’t although we really defended well in that first half.”

 The result leaves Phoenix to wait on other results in Round 14 with the Kiwi side currently on 12 points in eighth spot with a game in hand.

 Buckingham said he felt the second half red card to his Fijian striker Roy Krishna was “harsh”.

 “But regardless of the send off, we needed to be better in the second half. First half very good, second half we need to be better in possession.”

 Buckingham added he was happy with the re-jigged 4-4-2 formation with Krishna and Shane Smeltz up front, after they lost Gui Finkler who returned to Brazil for personal reasons in the days before the game. 

The loss ends an encouraging unbeaten first four games for Buckingham and his co-coach Chris Greenacre, who have nine days to prepare for what looms as a pivotal week in their season. 

 Phoenix have some time to rest up after the long flight home before three games in a week at home could well decide their finals hopes.

 They next play on Saturday Jan 14 against Central Coast, followed by a Tuesday night clash with Victory (a rescheduled match) and the following Saturday Jan 21 against Roar.

“We need to convert the chances we’re creating,” Buckingham added.