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Phoenix coaches are up to it: Barbarouses

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/02/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Kosta Barbarouses. © Mark Tantrum/Getty Images Kosta Barbarouses. Attacking midfielder Kosta Barbarouses has thrown support behind his under-fire coaches as the Wellington Phoenix's season creeps to the edge of a precipice.

The spotlight is squarely on rookie co-coaches Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre following a lean run of form from the eighth-placed Kiwi club heading into Saturday's clash with the Brisbane Roar.

Pressure mounted further when Buckingham confirmed three players - Roly Bonevacia, Tom Doyle and Ryan Lowry - were stood down this week for breaching undisclosed team protocols.

Barbarouses says the remaining players support the move and appreciated how both coaches had handled a tumultuous week following their 5-1 home trouncing from Melbourne City - a third successive heavy loss.

"We've gone through a bit of a rough patch but I think everyone's backing them and believes in what they're trying to do," Barbarouses said.

"Sometimes when things aren't going well you (media) start to maybe second-guess things. But I think it's a really good club and it's obviously moved ahead really well since I was here last."

All Whites winger Barbarouses, who joined the Roar for two seasons after shining as a teenager at the Phoenix, says the players were quick to move on from the disappointment of losing the suspended trio early in the week.

A no-frills team meeting on Tuesday thrust the focus squarely on pulling off a rare win in Brisbane against the fourth-placed Roar, which on current form would be a giant upset.

Barbarouse highlighted what hasn't worked in recent weeks, including his deflating penalty miss early on against Melbourne City.

"There are periods when we've missed a few chances or conceded a couple of sloppy goals. That has to change, it has to be a 90-minute performance," he said.

"That's the frustrating thing because in a few games this season we've never looked like losing.

"We need a little bit more ruthlessness."

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