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A-League up for grabs: Merrick

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/12/2016 Steve Larkin

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has a warning for A-League fans: strap yourselves in for a hell of a ride.

Merrick believes the A-League to have tightened considerably despite Sydney FC stealing a six-point break at the top.

With one-third of the season gone, the Sky Blues (23 points) lead Melbourne City (17), Melbourne Victory (14), Brisbane (14), Perth (12) and Western Sydney (11).

Merrick's Phoenix slipped to last with a 2-0 away loss to Adelaide United on Sunday but he still maintains his club is a finals chance.

"We have got good players and we have got good depth, we're certainly a good enough team to be in the finals still," he said.

"But we can't keep this run going like this, we are going to pay a price for it."

Merrick noted his side had gifted Adelaide a win - the Reds had been winless after eight rounds, the same as in their championship-winning last season.

"That has got Adelaide off to a good win and they did this last year. I wonder if they can do it again," Merrick said.

"I certainly feel this is a league. I really believe that any team in the finals can win it.

"We have played against Sydney - they beat us with a goal in the final minute. I think they're a good team.

"Victory is a very good team but if you look at some of the upset results, if Adelaide go on a run they could do the same again. If we did we could get in the finals and do something."

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