Herbert challenges Phoenix to rise
By Football News
Ricki Herbert will make just one change to his Wellington Phoenix side as they look to make amends against Central Coast on Sunday.
Despite the sub-standard effort in their 3-2 loss against Melbourne Victory last weekend Herbert has opted to give the majority of the players a chance to redeem themselves.
The return of central defender Ben Sigmund from his controversial one-match suspension will be the only change to Sunday's starting line-up.
"There's a reaction I want to see and we'll give that group a chance to provide that," said the Phoenix coach.
Wellington were picked apart too easily by the Victory last week, and struggled to contain Gui Finkler, Marcos Flores, Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson.
But Herbert was confident Sigmund's return for the Westpac Stadium clash would be the remedy to their defensive woes.
"I think just that organisation in what he does and how he plays (will make a difference)," Herbert said. "That's not anything against Michael (Boxall). They are just different sorts of players.
"We've been okay there. I think it was just lapses and we did talk about it and hopefully we'll see it a little bit different this week."
The fact Wellington are playing at home will also provide a much-needed confidence boost for a side that has lost back-to-back away games and slipped to eighth on the table.
But the Mariners, sitting second behind Adelaide United, are one of the few Australian teams that do not seem to struggle with the trip across the Tasman.
They have the best record of visiting teams with four wins, two draws and three losses in Wellington. Two of those wins were earned last season.
Factor in the performances of Daniel McBreen, Tom Rogic and Michael McGlinchey in the 7-2 rout of Sydney FC and the Phoenix are certainly going to have their work cut out again on Sunday.
"I think they are a good fluent side. They work hard for each other and that's a good trait to have in this A-League," said Herbert.
"You can sign a whole lot of overseas players and sometimes that doesn't work. Central Coast have been a good model and they do things well. They will be tough."