Herbert backs Phoenix to respond
Wellington coach Ricki Herbert is backing his side to bounce back from a disappointing three weeks after their 1-0 loss to Central Coast.
The defeat, courtesy of a Daniel McBreen goal in the 69th minute, was the third successive loss for Herbert's side.
It leaves them ninth on the A-League table with just one win – against Sydney FC – from their opening six games.
"I feel sorry for the guys in the dressing room," Herbert said.
"I thought we were well in the game and had a huge slice of it against a side that is travelling really well and scoring a lot of goals.
"I didn't think we looked threatened at all, but we coughed it up with a small mistake and they were good enough to punish us.
"It's been a disappointing three weeks. We're certainly not shying away from that. I think the games have been close, except for last week (against Melbourne Victory) when 60 minutes was poor from us.
"But I think we've shown enough and I think there is enough in the side to rebound back. We've just got to keep working hard."
Midfielder Alex Smith felt the Phoenix had done enough to warrant at least a point from the match at Westpac Stadium – a venue where Central Coast have now won four out of five visits under coach Graham Arnold.
"We're sort of at a loss for words to say what happened," Smith said.
"I thought we played well, kept the ball well, played some good stuff and defensively we were sound and pressured well.
"But they got one or two chances and put one away. I thought we definitely deserved a draw, if not a win."