Wellington Phoenix coach says Brisbane result typifies how the season has gone

Wellington Phoenix defender Marco Rossi, left, and Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren both appeal to the referee on ...
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Wellington Phoenix defender Marco Rossi, left, and Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren both appeal to the referee on Sunday night.

One game will not define Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre's futures, but Sunday's loss to Brisbane summed up a lot about how their season has gone.

The Wellington Phoenix co-coaches took over the job back in December, ending their current reign with a 4-3 loss at Suncorp Stadium to take their record to six wins, six draws and seven losses.

They both now head into the interview room this week as individuals in an attempt to convince management they are the best man to take the team forward next season.

Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren celebrates scoring a goal against the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night.
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Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren celebrates scoring a goal against the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night.

Both will be best served highlighting how well the Phoenix played in the first half on Sunday, taking a 3-1 lead into halftime. 

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That showed how a gameplan could come together to produce good results. Their second-half capitulation was down to a lack of effort on defence from a handful of Phoenix players who let down their coaches.

Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo calls for the physio after colliding with Wellington Phoenix striker Hamish Watson.
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Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo calls for the physio after colliding with Wellington Phoenix striker Hamish Watson.

"I think the game that you've just seen typifies our season," Buckingham said.

"There has been some excellent football on show, some of the link up play, especially the move where Michael McGlinchey ended up crashing the ball back off the crossbar, I think that would have been a contender for goal of the season for a team move.

"That's the type of football we want to put out and put out every week.  

Wellington Phoenix co-coach Des Buckingham will interview for the job this week.
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Wellington Phoenix co-coach Des Buckingham will interview for the job this week.

"Then, from the season, we haven't got enough points on the board. Part and parcel of that has been whether we've been in strong positions or needed to get back into games, we've not been quite able to do that."

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So what does that mean for both coaches' going forward?

Well, their argument would be if they clear out the dead weight who didn't put in the requisite effort required to be a professional footballer this season, and replace them with good, hard-working players, then the top six would be a realistic prospect.

Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren celebrates his goal against the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night.
Bradley Kanaris

Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren celebrates his goal against the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night.

"I'm convinced with the recruitment of a couple of key players in key areas that's an area we'll fix for next year," Buckingham said on Sunday. 

"Whether that's Chris, myself or somebody else, these players we've still got on contract will be able to take this club forward."

You could have a bob each way in regard to the players.

It's easy to say a couple of better players would help things, but that was the feeling last off season as well. Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler came in and pre-season targets were set at not only the top six, but the top four, and even the top two.

Perhaps of most importance in the new players is to bring in leaders.

With Vince Lia and Glen Moss preparing to exit, and Tom Doyle's late-night indiscretion halfway through the season, the leadership group is thin on the ground, with just captain Andrew Durante left.

There aren't too many others left in the squad who you would say could drive the team on to a victory, or pick them up when they're down and carry them back into a match. 

Getting a few players like that would need to be a priority once the next coach is announced.

 - Stuff

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