'We don't deserve it' - Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss' stark assessment of finals chances
Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss says his team don't deserve to be in the Hyundai A-League finals based on their current form.
A senior member of the leadership group, Moss delivered a stark assessment of the team after their 3-1 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday night.
Even accounting for fact he was speaking right after a disappointing loss, his comments to Fox Sports were telling, starting with their chances of making the top six after slipping five points behind the sixth-placed Wanderers with four games to play.
"I'm not sure what else we can do but keep working hard and battling away and now we've got to hope for a few results to go our way.
"We don't deserve it, put it that way."
And as for the reasons why the team were not performing, Moss told Fox Sports it was a simple case of players not doing their jobs properly.
"We've got a few players out there who just kind of do what they want and don't stick to the game-plan and it shows.
"We've been [working on] it for the last couple of weeks but it just doesn't sink in."
Sunday's performance rated as one of their worst of the season, although there are a lot to choose from now.
Their defence was all over the place for all of the Wanderers' goals, while on attack they created very little, despite having almost 63 per cent of possession, completing 550 passes with 86 per cent accuracy.
"That means nothing if you're not creating chances," co-coach Des Buckingham said of those stats after the game.
The Phoenix's goal came via a 75th minute freekick from Gui Finkler. They only managed two other shots on target in the game.
The Wanderers gained the upperhand early on by attacking down the Phoenix's left side, where left back Adam Parkhouse was battling a virus which Buckingham said he had "under-reported" to the coaching staff.
He was eventually replaced in the 30th minute before heading up the tunnel, but placing any of the blame on a young player desperate to hold on to a starting spot would be wrong. The failings were across the board.
Buckingham said the team just didn't show up early on.
"We knew we needed to match physically, we just never got to grips in the first 10, 20 minutes with first balls, second balls and matching their work-rate and desire to want to be first to the ball, which was disappointing."
As for their finals chances, Buckingham wasn't giving up hope.
"It certainly makes it a lot harder. We knew it we won here we'd go above them, they now open up a five-point lead, so it's Western Sydney's to lose."
After last-placed Adelaide United controversially beat Brisbane on Sunday, the Phoenix now sit just five points above the wooden spoon and might be taking a few nervous looks down with a run of Melbourne Victory (away), Sydney FC (home) and Brisbane (away) after the Newcastle game to end their season.