Manny Muscat dressed down for ill-discipline
He was probably the man of the match but Manny Muscat's ill-discipline earned a tongue lashing from his coach following the Phoenix's stalemate with Western Sydney yesterday.
Muscat, who was shifted to left back in place of Reece Caira, was typically industrious and made some brilliant tackles.
But he also picked up his fifth yellow card of the season - in just the seventh game - and will miss Friday's always difficult away trip to Perth Glory.
"That's Manny's fifth yellow card which I have to say is total ill-discipline," Ernie Merrick said.
"He had a terrific game but total ill-discipline. He's obviously just used to it and got away with it. But I have to say I'm very disappointed with Manny getting a yellow card and I'll be telling him that."
Caira will probably slot straight back in against the Glory, with Michael Boxall and Josh Brindell-South Merrick's other options.
He was more concerned about the state of his midfield stocks.
Carlos Hernandez left the game with a thigh injury and Albert Riera also limped off with a groin complaint.
"We lost two players through injury and our midfield struggled after that," Merrick said.
"Albert will probably have an MRI. He asked to come off, as did Carlos."
Jason Hicks has some promise but was off colour yesterday, coughing up possession regularly and marked out of the game by Iacopo La Rocca.
"I didn't feel that young Jason got in the game today," Merrick said.
On a brighter note, leading striker Jeremy Brockie is expected to be available after missing yesterday's game with a hamstring niggle.
Merrick declared himself happy with the contributions of Kenny Cunningham and Stein Huysegems although composed finishing is likely to again be a feature at training this week.