Former Wellington Phoenix star Paul Ifill says the side’s poor form might provide them with an unexpected advantage if they can “sneak” a place in the A-League play offs.
He says other teams could underestimate the Phoenix in the play offs and make the mistake of taking them lightly.
After the Phoenix lost 4-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers — the side’s fourth loss in five A-League games — Ifill said he believed the poor form was linked to off-field disruption, and he had hoped the announcement of Giancarlo Italiano as the new head coach would have calmed things down.
“But that was not to be,” he said.
Ifill told NewstalkZB’s Jason Pine he thought the latest Phoenix display was poor defensively, bereft of ideas, and the side barely had a shot on target.
“To miss out on a play off spot would be devastating,” he said.
Main photo: Paul Ifill (43) played 106 games for the Phoenix, scoring 33 goals in his five seasons with the club.
Ifill, who is now head coach at Christchurch United, said the Phoenix had been in a difficult position knowing head coach Ufuk Talay was going to leave at the end of the A-League season.
However, he believed the players had been professional and would have tried to remain focussed on winning.
The Phoenix head into their last game needing a result to clinch a play off place, having been in the top six for the past 14 weeks.
“Hopefully, they can find a performance from somewhere,” Ifill said.
Listen to the full interview
Ifill’s 10-minute interview with Jason Pine can be replayed here: