Ufuk Talay not concerned by Phoenix slow start

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The last thing Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay would’ve wanted to start the season was another slow start.

Despite how Phoenix began last season, they were still able to finish the season in third spot. The Nix are without a win in their first three games however have showed signs that they deserve more.

Two goal of the season contenders from Sydney FC in round one and a very controversial red card against Macarthur FC have cost the side three points so far. Yesterday they were made to pay by a clinical Newcastle Jets side. The Jets scored two out of their three shots on target.

Wellington Phoenix suffered a frustrating loss to cap off the weekend’s A-League action. The home side failed to convert enough of their chances against a determined Newcastle Jets outfit.

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Talay is a firm believer in the need for consistency in order to improve.

“Players need to play with each other to understand each other’s roles and what they do.

“It’s similar to what I did last year despite those four losses at the start. I stuck with the starting eleven and had belief in my players. If changes need to be made, we’ll make those changes.

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This stance is very unsurprising given the Nix’s success last year in keeping a similar starting side week in week out. Also given the time needed for new signings, such as marquee Tomer Hemed, to adjust Talay doesn’t seem too worried.

“I have no worries. We’ve been through this previously.”

The focus on the training paddock this week will certainly be defensive transition as both goals conceded came on the counter. This will need to be rectified, especially against a Mariners side who are happy to absorb pressure and hit on the counter similar to the Jets.

Talay cut a frustrated figure throughout the majority of the match and admitted his side needed to be more clinical.

“We can’t go through games where we create a lot of opportunities and don’t reward ourselves.”

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Wellington’s new signing Tomer Hemed certainly offers the side a new dimension in attack. His physical presence and aerial prowess make crossing a very viable attacking option for the Phoenix.

The former Brighton striker’s performances thus far indicate he’s in for a big season once he gets his first in the A-League. His partnership with speedster Jaushua Sotirio was effective in large patches yesterday. The Israeli dropping short to receive often allowed for Sotirio to exploit space opened up by Hemed’s movement.

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Ufuk Talay has plenty to ponder ahead three tough upcoming fixtures. With the current leaders the Central Coast on either side of a game against the defending premiers Sydney FC.

“Results wise we’ve started slowly but footballing wise I don’t think we have.

“The most important thing for me is believing in our process and our principles, and in the way we want to play.

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You can’t help but feel the Phoenix aren’t far off a big performance, with the side not struggling to create chances. In each of their games this season they have had a dozen or more shots.

The Phoenix feel they should have gotten more out of all of them, and rightly so.

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Featured image credit: Speed Media / Wellington Phoenix

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Chris Ball
Chris Ball
Football fanatic, supporting some, at times, hard to follow sides.

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