5 Feb 2016

Phoenix players 'angry' at form slump

11:45 am on 5 February 2016

They're angry at the Phoenix. Angry with themselves and with each other, says skipper Andrew Durante.

The Phoenix have slumped to eighth in the 10-team A-League competition and are winless in their past eight games.

On Sunday they host the Perth Glory, who are three points above them in seventh spot.

During a video session earlier this week there were a few home truths spoken about invidividal performances, Durante said.

Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante

Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante Photo: Photosport

"There's a few angry people but (angry) in the right way... making sure everyone is accountable for their mistakes, making sure that people are really loud on the field and vocal and organising people," Durante said.

"We need a few more leaders out there on the field instead of just one or two guys barking the instructions."

Coach Ernie Merrick has pointed the finger at his attackers with Joel Stevens, Michael McGlinchey and Blake Powell playing in frontline positions in the 3-1 loss to bottom-placed Central Coast Mariners last round.

"We just aren't any good in front of goal... I've never seen a team attack and be in the penalty box and get only one goal to show for it. I've never seen that before," said Merrick.

"The bottom line is we have got to have players that are determined to score goals. We've got too many nice players at this club saying 'it's your ball' or 'it's his ball.'"

Against Central Coast the Phoenix had 21 shots on goal compared to the visitors' nine.

It was frustrating as a defender to watch so many goal chances go begging, Durante conceded, but the skipper was a little more diplomatic than Merrick.

"I don't like to just blame the front guys for these losses. In concededing three goals in each of the last three weeks you can't just blame the front guys," Durante said.

"We (the defenders) have got to take a lot of the rap... I've been at fault, senior boys have been at fault and you can't just blame any one player."

Durante returns to the lineup this weekend having missed last week's loss through suspension.

Missing though is midfielder Albert Riera, who is suspended for one match.

Albert Riera will miss this weekend's match against Perth Glory through suspension.

Albert Riera will miss this weekend's match against Perth Glory through suspension. Photo: Photosport

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