Merrick still confident of finals

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick is confident his side can still make the finals despite another round of the A-League without a win.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick is confident his side can still make the finals despite another round of the A-League without a win.

Phoenix has just three draws from eight matches this season and Merrick admitted his team was outplayed by Perth Glory in Friday night's 4-2 loss at nib Stadium.

But Merrick is not ready to hit the panic button by any stretch and believes it is only a matter of time before Wellington charges back up the table.

"It is a concern (being winless after eight games), but I still think we'll make the finals," Merrick said.

"I'm pretty good at objectively analysing games and the previous seven games we've played pretty good football without having a win. We're creating goal-scoring opportunities, we don't give away much at the back and I think we're building a good squad.

"Last week against the Wanderers, the stats speak for themselves - 14 scoring shots to eight and 10 corners to four. I just seem to struggle to get 11 best players on the park consistently and the travel hasn't helped, but that's just part of what you have to do when you're at Phoenix."

Merrick said he would target an attacking midfielder in the January transfer window in a bid to strengthen his squad heading into the business end of the season.

Wellington missed the experience of the injured Carlos Hernandez and suspended Manny Muscat against Perth.

Phoenix led 2-1 early in the first half, but fell away after that and conceded two goals in the final eight minutes to rub salt into the New Zealand club's wounds.

"We really lost the midfield, our defence didn't do as well as they normally would do, we didn't create enough chances and the ones we created we didn't do enough with," Merrick said.

"It's been a trend of inconsistent play and possession, but tonight was by far our worst performance and there's no excuses for it.

"Out of the previous three games that we lost, two of them we lost in the last minute and again tonight we conceded in the 91st minute. So after 90 minutes, we're pretty well done and that-s something we need to address."

Asked if he had a player in mind to recruit during the January transfer window, Merrick replied: "Yes, but I don-t know if we can afford him. His name's Lionel Messi."