Last place Phoenix confident ahead of visit from league leaders Sydney FC

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NZN

Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic is confident he has a unified team behind him as Wellington prepare to host A-League leaders Sydney FC tonight.

The team have lost their assistant coach and two star players in the last two weeks.
Source: 1 NEWS

The Nix have endured a tumultuous week which has ended with the departure of assistant coach Rado Vidosic and his son Dario, less than two weeks after losing Brazilian midfielder Gui Finkler.

Kalezic said on-going differences in philosophy had been behind Vidosic's departure.

"The club will never break a contract with anybody if something happens only in the short term. It happened over a longer time," he said.

"Simply a different way of thinking, not only with me but with all of us. It's like an unlucky marriage, and nothing more than that."

Kalezic was categorical when asked whether there had been a split in the players between those who supported Rado Vidosic and those who supported him.

With the team bottom of the A-League ladder, Andrew Durante says the Nix need to stand up.
Source: 1 NEWS

"No. Speculation about those things isn't true," he said.

Signings to replace Dario Vidosic and Finkler were imminent, Kalezic added, while a new assistant coach was also being sought.

"We are busy with that and the club will make announcements soon."

Kalezic said he would also be talking with his players over the next 10 days, taking soundings to get an idea where they stand.

"I will ask every player until January 1 if somebody has some other opinion than the club's philosophy that we have now at Wellington Phoenix," he said.

"Everybody will have a chance to give an answer, and make his conclusions, and then we will see what's going to happen - if somebody has a different opinion or wants to leave the club."

Kalezic said the Phoenix had made encouraging progress in their last two games, a scoreless draw with Perth and a 1-0 loss to Brisbane.

"We had a really good atmosphere, a unified atmosphere, in Australia, for those two games," he said.

Darije Kalezic fronted the media after a tumultuous week for his side.
Source: 1 NEWS

Sitting bottom of the ladder, with one win from 10 matches, Wellington face a huge challenge on Saturday against the A-League's defending champions, who have lost just once all season.

"Sydney are a very solid team, who control the game from the first to the last minute," he said.

"They're a team which has so many exceptional qualities, and can make a goal from a situation which isn't even close to dangerous, not even a close smell to the goal."

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