Andrew Nabbout of the Jets turns inside Andrew Durante of the Phoenix.
Andrew Nabbout of the Jets turns inside Andrew Durante of the Phoenix. DARREN PATEMAN

Pundit takes aim at Phoenix players

FORMER Sydney FC player Mark Rudan has slammed Wellington for needing a change in coach to find a spark this season.

Speaking after the 2-2 draw with Newcastle, goalscorer Kosta Barbarouses said the Phoenix had been sparked into form following former coach Ernie Merrick's departure.

"Obviously there's been a slight change to the formation, which has made the roles a little bit clearer,” Barbarouses said on Fox Sports.

"The biggest thing is there's been a bit of a reaction from the boys. It's a shame the coach had to go to spark that.”

Rudan said he was disappointed to hear it had taken Merrick's exit to prompt a reaction from the players.

"If I was Ernie Merrick listening to that, I'd be extremely disappointed, knowing that it took for himself to get the sack to get a reaction,” Rudan told Fox Sports.

"It's not something any coach particularly wants to hear after they've lost their job.”

Wellington took the lead through a clinical Barbarouses finish in the 35th minute, before Andrew Hoole equalised shortly after half-time.

But when Gui Finkler struck to give the Phoenix a 2-1 lead, they looked set to kick on and secure all three points.

Then skipper Andrew Durante was turned inside out by Andrew Nabbout, who secured the equaliser in the 62nd minute, with the Phoenix left to think of what might have been.

Former Socceroo Mark Bosnich said it was yet another example of Wellington failing to deliver on its potential.

"I'm disappointed in Wellington, once again they promised a lot and delivered very little,” he said on Fox Sports.

"You go 2-1 up, the game's there for the taking and then you've got your captain turned inside out and in a position he should never have been.

"Also it was 2-1 for Wellington and there was a couple of times when they got into good positions and if they were really ruthless and they really wanted to, they could have finished the game off and they didn't.

"The mind beggars with them. I really don't know what to say about them. We had all that thing last year with 'keep Wellington in the A-League' and everyone got behind them and all of a sudden it's all dropped off.

"At the moment for me, they're offering the A-League nothing at all.”