The Wellington Phoenix have missed a chance to secure an A-League playoff berth, as speculation mounts about the future of coach Mark Rudan.
The Phoenix have lost 2-1 to the second-to-bottom Roar in Brisbane, hours are reports emerged Rudan is leaving the club at the end of the season.
The result leaves Wellington fourth on the ladder, but the Phoenix will slip to fifth by the end of the round and can still be caught by the seventh-placed Newcastle Jets.
"They [Brisbane] looked a bit sharper, they looked a bit hungrier," Rudan said when asked about another sluggish first-half performance.
He has refused to blame the constant speculation about his future as a reason for the performance.
"Everyone knows at the football club what's going on. It was known before...we scored a record number of goals in three games so...it's not an excuse," he said.
"At the end of the day we lost because we weren't good enough to win the game tonight and the same being on Sunday.
"It has nothing to do with what's going on. The speculation started in January."
Mark Rudan says at the appropriate time he and the Phoenix will make a joint statement about his future.
The Roar led two-nil at halftime courtesy of two goals from Frenchman Eric Bautheac.
Fit-again defender Steven Taylor pulled a goal back for the Phoenix in the 53rd minute, but they were unable to find an equaliser.
The Wellington Phoenix return home next week to host fellow top four contenders Melbourne City on Easter Sunday.