Patience key for Wellington Phoenix

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AAP

Patience could prove a virtue for Wellington Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic as he looks to conjure up a miracle A-League season finish for his team.

The Nix sit bottom of the ladder, with just two wins from 15 matches, but showed a glimpse of their potential in the 1-1 with Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.

Following on from Wednesday's 2-1 defeat of Melbourne Victory, Wellington couldn't quite manage another win but did enough to give their season faint signs of life.

Recent signings Nathan Burns and Matija Ljujic played a key role, the pair coming on at halftime to galvanise the Phoenix after they trailed 1-0 to a 28th- minute Brendon Santalab strike.

Wellington hit back in the 75th minute with a Ljujic thunderbolt from 35 metres after skipper Andrew Durante's tackle on former Nix midfielder Roly Bonevacia turned over possession.

Kalezic recognises that his acquisitions need time to work their way back to their best.

Ljujic hadn't played regular minutes since late November and Burns returned to the Phoenix after a month's break following time in Japan's J-League with FC Tokyo and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

"If you ask my heart, I would let them start every game from the beginning but the reality is something else," Kalezic said after the game.

"We have to be careful with those players."

Kalezic said Wellington were also looking to players like Matthew Ridenton and Andrija Kaludjerovic to make the most of their chances.

Kaludjerovic has played a key role for Wellington this season, scoring eight goals but Ridenton has not proven so clinical with his finishing when required.

On Saturday, he squandered a late chance to seal the game when he shot at goal rather than tee up an unmarked Kaludjerovic.

Kalezic has belief in the 21-year-old Ridenton and believes he is worth the investment.

"I would rather see a player like Matthew close his eyes and shoot the ball at the goal," he said.

"If he misses, he misses but I want to see he really wants to make a goal and win the game.

"Don't understand me wrongly, if you see what kind of job Matthew delivers every game, then he also shows a good mentality.

"He is also a big winner, but maybe it is experience.

"This year, we have to invest in his development, and don't be critical too much."

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