Wellington Phoenix are no closer to resolving the future of a number of off-contract players with interim co-coach Chris Greenacre admitting he’s only advising the club about direction.
Greenacre and Des Buckingham took over on an interim basis until the end of the season following Ernie Merrick’s resignation in December.
The side remains in the hunt for finals but faces an uphill battle with eight rounds to go, sitting in eighth, two points behind sixth-placed Newcastle, but fresh from two poor defeats and a winless run of four games.
The situation means there’s much uncertainty around the Phoenix, with the coaches’ futures unclear along with off-contract players such as Roly Bonevacia, Glen Moss, Vince Lia, Alex Rodriguez, Louis Fenton and Hamish Watson.
“It’s out of our hands to be honest,” Greenacre said.
“We can only advise them on what we think the club should do. We’ll continue to do that.”
In March last year, prior to the conclusion of the 2015/16 season, Wellington confirmed they’d signed Kosta Barbarouses and Guilherme Finkler from Melbourne Victory.
Similar signings are unlikely this year with Wellington’s direction unclear, with chairman Rob Morrison, general manager David Dome and the board in charge of those decisions.
“We’ve given a few ideas of what we think and advising on a daily basis on how we feel the club should go forward, albeit with Des and I or a new coach,” Greenacre said.
“We’re advising where we think we could strengthen or move players on. That’s as far as it’s gone.
“But there’s a long way to go through the rest of the season yet before we start deciding people’s futures.”
Greenacre conceded making the finals would be a key factor in his retention as co-coach, with the club still hopeful of contending for the championship.
“I think it’s a must for the whole club,” Greenacre said, when asked about finals.
“We set out for the top four at the start of the year and that hasn’t changed. There is still a long way to go and plenty of points to play for.
“We’re still wanting to get into the top six. That’s what everything is geared towards.
“Our last two performances haven’t been good enough. They’re not what we expect from a Phoenix team.
“Results around us went for us, so everyone is tight around the middle of the table. It’s important we bounce back.”