Sport

Phoenix looking for Christmas joy

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert.
Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert. Mark Mitchell

RICKI Herbert is playing "shuffle the pack" in search of Christmas joy.

The Wellington Phoenix Hyundai A-League season is on another downer with the limp effort on Sunday costing them not only more points but also midfielder Nicky Ward who was left on the sideline for tonight's match against the Newcastle Jets after a head clash.

>> Latest sport news

The Phoenix beat the Jets, also at Westpac Stadium, early in the season for their first win. They, like the Jets who won first-up over Melbourne Heart, have won three times since.

Both teams go into tonight's game off losses. The Phoenix lead the Jets by two points but have played one more game.

With Ward joining Paul Ifill and Tony Lochhead on the sidelines, Herbert will look elsewhere for the inspiration which is sadly missing when Ifill is out.

Not that he does not have readymade substitutes in Daniel Cortes and Dani Sanchez, but they have failed, in limited opportunities, to provide the spark the Phoenix need.

Daniel had 30 minutes in the loss to Melbourne Victory and turned in a reasonable effort impressing Herbert with his energetic display.

He hopes that cameo will lead to a start tonight.

"It is the first time in my five years here that I have had four games on the bench and not got on the field, apart from the minute or so against Perth when Tony Lochhead got injured," said Daniel who scored the first A-League goal for the Wellington club. "Of course I wasn't happy, and it was very frustrating, but I respect Ricki and the decisions he has to make.

"All I can do is train hard and if I do get an opportunity show what I can do. The last time I got a start was in Brisbane and I wasn't as well prepared as I could have been as I only found out I was playing when Dani Sanchez got injured in the warm up.

"If I do [get a start] I will be giving it everything I can to help the team and show Ricki what I can do."

American Alex Smith turned in another encouraging display in the loss to the Victory and showed he might be in line for a contract extension next month.

But, as has been the case too often this season, the inability to turn a decent flow of half chances into goals has been their Achilles heel.

Herbert will again be casting a casual eye on the opposition, in particular All Whites striker Jeremy Brockie who has impressed in the Jets this season.

Defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley has declared himself fit after a hamstring injury kept him out of the Jets' 2-1 home loss to Sydney FC last Saturday.

The 26-year-old former Socceroo said he was keen to help the team end a two-game losing skid.

Coach Gary van Egmond has yet to name a stand-in captain for the suspended Jobe Wheelhouse.

Topics:  a-league, wellington phoenix


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hospital launches new volunteer program

Margaret, Pat, Vicky (volunteer), Jim, Kirsty (volunteer), Trevor (volunteer). Back Row L-R: Yasmeen Lal (Occupational Therpist, Mick Tilley (allied Health Assistant), Catherine Triandafyllou (Allied Health Assistant) and Hospital Nursing and Midwifery Director Jacquie Smith.

Call out for hospital volunteers.

Tourist attraction just down the road

Pelican feeding every day at Labrador.

Mission is always possible

RIGHT: Volunteers Gail Harrower and Robyn McKay.

Mission Possible for local women.

Latest deals and offers

Hospital launches new volunteer program

New program aims to improve quality of life for patients.

Tourist attraction just down the road

Pelican feeding every day at Labrador.

Mission is always possible

RIGHT: Volunteers Gail Harrower and Robyn McKay.

Mission Possible for local women.

What’s on this weekend

Eats & Beats at Browns Plains. Photo Inga Williams / The Reporter

Find out what's happening around Logan this weekend.

Cash stolen from ATM

At about 4:20pm on 1-Mar-2016 a person attended an ATM within a Beenleigh shopping centre to make a cash withdrawal. After completion, this person walked off accidently leaving their bank card in the machine. It is alleged two persons, a male and female who were standing behind, located the card in the machine and proceeded to withdraw funds. Police believe the persons pictured may be able to assist with their investigation.Photo: Contributed

Do you recognise these people?

Local teachers meet with Education Minister

SCHOOLS IN SPOTLIGHT: Education Minister Kate Jones and Minister Shannon Fentiman met with Logan principals last week.

Principals voice concerns with Education Minister.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances