A-League: Wellington coach Mark Rudan confident depleted Phoenix will bounce back

Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan is confident his players to bounce back after a crushing 3-0 against the league-leading Perth Glory in Western Australia on Sunday (NZ time).

After blowing an early chance to take the lead, it was one-way traffic as Perth ran riot against a depleted Phoenix side missing three key players at HBF Park.

Already missing captain Andrew Durante through suspension, Wellington also lost fellow defender Steven Taylor to illness while Spanish midfielder Mandi returned to Wellington, where his wife is due to give birth.

The loss leaves Wellington in sixth place on the A-League standings, and they face a tough challenge in their next match against seventh-placed Newcastle Jets, who are desperate to close the eight-point gap between them and the Phoenix.

Rudan should have Durante, Taylor and Mandi back for the clash in Newcastle as he backs his side to get the job done on Thursday.

Phoenix coach Mark Rudan
Phoenix coach Mark Rudan. Photo credit: Photosport

"We've come on leaps and bounces this season, and I keep stressing to the players, that we haven't achieved anything yet and we need to keep improving," he said.

"Some days you go a couple of steps forward, and today I thought we took a step back which is disappointing, but we have to improve and learn from all these types of scenarios to make sure they don't happen again.

"That's what good teams and good players do, and I'm sure we'll bounce back."

Rudan refused to blame David Williams' missed two golden opportunities in the first minute when his shot attempt in front of goal was blocked, and the rebound attempt hit the crossbar.

However, he admitted had the ball gone in, it would have been a different match.

"The plan was to get a goal early. We should have had one, but David Williams hit the bar, and it's a different ball game if we get it, but we didn't and then it was one-way traffic in the first half.

"Good teams punish and hurt you, and that's what they did.

"We gave away a silly goal, and a goalkeeper makes a world-class save. From the ensuing corner, the same player doesn't pick up their man and we're 1-0 down.

"With the second goal, two players stayed in their areas and allowed the rebound to fall to one of their players. Had we done what we train to do, he would have been offside.

"They're the moments which cost you... particularly against the best team in the competition."


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