6 Jan 2016

Suspension and injuries haunt the Phoenix

12:52 pm on 6 January 2016

Having labelled the standard of refereeing in the A-League competition "extremely poor", the Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has held off giving a repeat dose following the two match suspension of defender Manny Muscat.

Muscat has been suspended for two games for striking Central Coast Mariner's player Roy O'Donovan in his side's 3-1 loss last week.

O'Donovan retaliated with a headbutt and must now appear before a judicial committee.

Merrick described it as one of the worst incidents of foul play he had seen on a football field but was reluctant to comment on the Muscat suspension.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick is confident about his side's chances in the elimination final against Melbourne City.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick certainly hasn't been applauding the performances of A-League referees of late. Photo: Photosport

"I'm really disappointed about the whole affair but I've said what I've had to say....I don't think we are the only club complaining about the standard of refereeing."

On top of Muscat's supsension midfielders Roly Bonnevacia and Alex Rodriguez are also suspended have accumulated five yellow cards lead to an automatic suspension.

Skipper Andrew Durante, Vince Lia and Albert Riera all sit on four yellow cards - one more they'll be on the sidelines too.

The Phoenix also have injury woes ahead of Sunday's match against competition leaders Brisbane with five players on the sick list.

Among them is striker Roy Krishna is set to miss the next four weeks with an ankle injury and veteran Ben Sigmund who's still struggling wtih a hamstring problem.

Wellington Phoenix striker Roy Krishna celebrates a goal.

Roy Krishna is out for a month injured. Photo: PHOTOSPORT