You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Merrick quits Phoenix at second attempt

AAP logoAAP 6/12/2016 Cathy Walshe

Wellington Phoenix chairman Rob Morrison managed to talk coach Ernie Merrick out of quitting five weeks ago, but was left no chance to do the same on Sunday.

After more than three years in the job, and at a team dinner following the Phoenix's 2-0 away loss to Adelaide, Merrick told his players that he was resigning.

He then texted Morrison in Wellington to inform him of his decision.

Merrick said he had originally offered to resign following the Phoenix's horror 6-1 loss to Melbourne Victory on October 31.

"The last time I spoke to him about resigning was after the Victory game, and he talked me out of resigning," Merrick said.

"So this time I told the players first, and told Rob afterwards."

Merrick said the Victory loss in round five had been hard to take.

"Over the start of the season, there were just so many things I was not happy with and it just culminated in the Victory game.

"I don't recall losing to a score like that," he said.

"I said to Rob 'look, I'll give it another three or four weeks and we'll see what we can turn around.'

"But it hasn't really turned around, so I stood by the decision to step down."

Morrison said Merrick's original resignation offer wasn't a formal one, and he had wanted to see whether Merrick could make things work.

"Sometimes you can get most of your ducks aligned, but there's an X factor that sits there that you can't quite figure out.

"You can do all your homework, have all your resources lined up, have the right people and make the right investment decisions but there's something else that's missing," Morrison said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon