24 Dec 2022

Talay: Phoenix struggled to hit their best but worked hard for draw

7:44 am on 24 December 2022
Ufuk Talay reacts during the A-League match,  Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Monday 8th February 2021.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021

Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay admits his side weren't at their best against bottom-placed Perth Glory but he was happy with the team's workrate as they secured a one-all draw on Saturday morning NZ time.

Perth striker David Williams opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a header, but Phoenix forward Oskar Zawada equalised in the 31st minute.

Talay says the side played some poor decisions when passing and their execution wasn't good enough.

Perth had a late chance to snare all three points at Macedonia Park, but Luke Ivanovic's 88th-minute header under pressure struck the crossbar.

The result lifted Wellington (11 points) to fifth, while Glory (seven) remain last.

The Phoenix entered the match undermanned after Ben Waine and Tim Payne were ruled out with illness, while Ben Old (hernia) joined Finn Surman (shoulder) and Oskar van Hattum (adductor) on the sidelines.

Given the situation, Talay was happy to come away with a point.

"I don't think it was our best performance, but overall the boys worked hard," Talay said.

"It's not easy coming to Perth, that kick-off time was 12.30am NZ time, and it was a lot warmer than we expected.

"So happy we walk away with a point, and we continue the momentum of not being beaten since coming back from the World Cup break."

Referee Alex King, who was injured when fans entered the field during last week's Victory-City derby, was the video referee for Friday's match.

Sanctions over violent pitch invasion

Football Australia has imposed sanctions on Melbourne Victory, as the investigtion continues into the shocking scenes at that match.

The clash with rivals Melbourne City was abandoned after Victory fans spilled onto the pitch, and saw Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover struck by a metal bucket thrown by a fan, which also hit King.

Life-time bans and various suspensions have been issued to supporters, while criminal charges have been laid against some.

After Melbourne Victory were issued with a "show cause" notice, and as FA's investigation continues, no tickets will be sold for Victory home games, effective immediately and until January 15, 2023 - only valid club members can attend the home fixtures during the period before the show cause is determined.