9 Apr 2015

Phoenix players involved in training dust-up

10:05 am on 9 April 2015

The Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick says a training ground dust-up shows his players are desperate to arrest their two-match A-League losing streak.

Ernie Merrick

Ernie Merrick Photo: Photosport

Midfielders Vince Lia and Alex Rodriguez were involved in a dust-up after Lia took exception to a Rodriguez tackle, with captain Andrew Durante having to separate the pair before punches were thrown.

The Phoenix have slipped from first to fourth in the standings after suffering two consecutive 3-0 defeats.

Merrick said the scuffle was a sign his players were determined to get back to winning ways, with just three games left before the playoffs.

"There's a lot of determination to do well and compete and that's fairly normal at training, and I'm actually glad to see that," he said.

"I'd rather see that than everyone being good mates and losing 3-0 again."

The Phoenix are chasing a top two finish which would mean they advance directly to the second week of the playoffs where they wouldd get home advantage for the preliminary final.