Wellington Phoenix coach Des Buckingham has singled out left-back Adam Parkhouse for blame following his side’s 3-1 defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers.

Blown away by a blistering Western Sydney attack in the first 30 minutes which saw Nicolas Martinez strike for the red and black, Buckingham substituted Parkhouse with Tom Doyle on the half hour with the Nix coach explaining the decision post-match.

“They were getting a lot of success down their right hand side, through Jumpei and some of the movement by Mitch Nichols, and Adam wasn’t dealing with it,” Buckingham said.

“We couldn’t let it continue. Subsequently Adam has under-reported a sickness, a virus that he felt late last night and this morning of which he told us about 20 minutes of the game happening.”

The Wellington coach none too pleased with the 24-year-old who walked straight from the field to see medical staff after being replaced.

“It was a big game for us and big game for them and we needed eleven fit players,” Buckingham said.

“So when you’ve got a ready, able replacement in Tom Doyle that could’ve started the game and have eleven fit, fresh players on the pitch that’s hugely disappointing for the playing group, staff and the club.

“We needed every single player to step up this evening and when you start with effectively ten men you struggle to do that.”

It was a very different story for Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic who was full of praise for Brendon Santalab whose two goals saw him become the club’s highest all-time scorer.

“He’s a special, special person and a special player and nothing changes there,” he said.

“For me personally it’s no surprise to see him do what he did today, it might surprise some others but parts of his game just keep getting better and better.”

His side’s first win at Spotless Stadium, Popovic was pleased with how his side backed up from a midweek away win against FC Seoul.

“We got a reward for a dominant display and it’s so pleasing to do that after the game with FC Seoul and even more important to do it here at home,” he said post-match.

“We’ve played a lot of good games at home without getting the win. We haven’t lacked any belief or confidence playing here.”

“The way we started, that didn’t look like a fatigued team.”

Popovic’s men now sit much more comfortable in sixth following the win with seventh placed Phoenix now five points adrift.

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A football fanatic and journalism student who won't leave you wondering about any Wanderers news this season as I cover all things Red and Black for The Football Sack.