Wellington coach Ricki Herbert has implored his team to discover pride in their performance to stop their A-League season from slipping further into the mire.
The ninth-placed Phoenix have had a season to forget, managing only five wins from 20 games, with a goal difference of minus 15.
Last week, the Phoenix enjoyed a morale-boosting win over last-placed Perth that provided Herbert with hope his side might be able to finally kick-start their season. But those hopes were dashed courtesy of a 5-0 hammering at the hands of ladder leaders Central Coast on Thursday night in Gosford.
"It was an embarrassing result for the club," Herbert said.
"We have to turn it around ... it's all about pride, isn't it?
"I think it is a group responsibility to deliver and we are a no-excuses club. It's not acceptable. You can look at the players who are not here but everyone has that throughout the season. The players who stepped out in the club colours let us down. It was a performance that wasn't acceptable.
"If we don't perform against the top teams, that happens."
The woeful Phoenix were outclassed by the Mariners and, if the finishing of the home side had been better, the score could have been even uglier for Wellington.
Last season's finalists Phoenix only sit one point behind sixth-placed Brisbane and remain a finals chance but Herbert conceded his side would do it tough to qualify for the playoffs.
"Physically, we have to put that application in if we are going to give ourselves a chance," he said.
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