Football: Frustrated Ufuk Talay searching for positives as Phoenix continue to misfire in front of goal

Frustration is building for Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay, after his side's third A-League loss of the season.

The 'Nix wasted a 21-9 advantage in total shots against Sydney FC, losing 2-1, thanks to two goals from All Whites forward Kosta Barbarouses.

The loss drops the Phoenix to second from bottom on the league ladder, which is a point of irritation for Talay, given how competitive his side has been during the campaign.

"It's frustrating, disappointing the boys don't reward themselves with the opportunities they create," Talay says.

"I think the first 15-20 minutes, we played some really good football, created a couple of good opportunities and like I said pre-game, this game was about being clinical in front of goal, because it's a very tight game against Sydney FC always."

But Talay is optimistic his squad can turn around their wasteful fortunes, insisting, when that time comes, they could run up a big score.

"But the main thing is we're in the right areas and we're getting in those areas. If we weren't getting in those areas, I think it'd be a major concern, but we're there or thereabouts.

"I think it's going to come to one of those games when they all do click and they are clinical. Might be a big scoreline."

Sharp-shooting captain Ulises Davila accounts for half of the 'Nix's goals this campaign, adding a stoppage-time consolation effort on Monday.

Adding to Talay's woes is the loss of the electric Jaushua Sotirio for six weeks and the Phoenix coach acknowledges that others have to step up.

"We rely on all of our players to create opportunities," Talay says. "Uli had a good game today and created a lot of opportunities. 

"We hit the post two times in the game as well, so you know a lot of the other players need to step up as well." 

Australian import Reno Piscopo returned from injury, producing a promising display that included an assist for Davila's goal.

Talay says Piscopo is key in the effectiveness of the Phoenix attacking threat.

"Obviously we were planning on 30 minutes, turned out to be 45, and the main thing is he got through it.

"Reno is a different player. He gives a bit more creativity and gives us a bit of dribbling as well, because he likes to run at players."

Next, the Phoenix play the first of three matches in eight days against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.