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Phoenix put Sydney horror behind them

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/03/2017 By Daniel Gilhooly

Fiery comments from Glen Moss and Adam Parkhouse's lack of health disclosure are an afterthought now for the Wellington Phoenix.

Co-coach Chris Greenacre admits it's desperate times at the seventh=-placed Kiwi club, who slumped to five points outside the top six following last week's 3-1 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers.

Victory over the eighth-placed Newcastle Jets at home on Sunday is almost mandatory if they are to stay in play-off contention.

They must do it without six of their New Zealand internationals and Fijian striker Roy Krishna, who are all required for the World Cup qualifying matches between those nations,

It follows a stressful initial fall-out from the loss in Sydney.

Veteran goalkeeper Moss let rip at his team-mates in a post-match television interview.

"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," he told Fox Sports.

Greenacre put the comments down to frustration and conceded Moss had a point following a lacklustre Phoenix effort against their closest play-off rivals.

"It was a cup final at the weekend and we just didn't come out of the block for the first 20 minutes," Greenacre said.

"All the things that are necessary to put your mark on the game, we didn't do.

"We didn't compete, I think six passes was the most that we strung together."

Any suggestion of dissent within the team were rubbished by Greenacre, who says he senses "do or die" togetherness this week.

Greenacre says Parkhouse has been spoken to sharply but won't face further action from team management following his failure to inform them he was unwell before playing the Wanderers.

The 24-year-old defender was off the pace before being replaced midway through the first half, when he told the coaches of an illness.

"Adam was unprofessional with what he did but we've dealt with that and moved on," Greenacre said.

"It was one of a number of issues that's arisen.

"Adam's not the reason we lost the game, by any stretch of the imagination.

"We had another 14 people who didn't perform and that's the cut and dry of it."

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