'We have to do a lot different' - Phoenix coach wants change after Sydney FC thrashing

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NZN

Darije Kalezic is light on detail but heavy on sentiment - that change has to happen at the Wellington Phoenix.

The first-year coach cut a resigned figure after last-placed Phoenix crashed to a 4-0 loss to Sydney FC, underlining why the teams sit at opposite ends of the A-League ladder.

The runaway league leaders barely got out of second gear to beat the cellar dwellers on home soil, needing only to capitalise on fundamental Phoenix mistakes for three of their goals.

It was their 14th win and Wellington's 10th loss, delivering another blow to the visitors' fading play-off hopes.

Kalezic admits his mind is turning towards next season, and the fundamental changes that apparently await.

"I know exactly what we have to do, and we have to do a lot different than what we did this year and in previous years," he said.

"And now we are talking about that and our conversations and our meetings give me a really positive feeling. We will see in the next weeks what is going to happen."

The Swiss mentor, who has overseen just three wins in 18 games, said he has started to grasp some of the fundamental issues facing not just the Phoenix, but the wider game in New Zealand.

He wants to play a part in a repair job.

"I honestly believe we can turn that situation in a positive way, and this is something that gives me energy and keeps me positive.

"I think in the A-League with a smart vision, with a smart programme, there is not so huge difference between the clubs in terms of budget and in terms of everything."

Kalezic was disappointed his team couldn't produce a better performance for captain Andrew Durante, who was playing his record-breaking 279th A-League match.

He said he was "glad" to get to know the central defender in what is probably his final season and said he had the sort of personality to move into an off-field role at the Phoenix.

Ironically Durante was at fault in some of the errors at the back which proved so costly although Kalezic didn't want to point at individuals.

"Those mistakes are not permitted at this level and that's all I can say," Kalezic said.

"If I'm going to work as a coach on those mistakes, then that has nothing to do with professional football.

"It's just a quality difference, and that's it."

The coach's lone silver lining was a promising debut display from 17-year-old defender Liberato Cacace, who was injected for the last 36 minutes.

He couldn't stop late goals to Milos Ninkovic and David Carney, after Alex Brosque and Adrian Mierzejewski had scored inside the opening 15 minutes.

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