Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante admits his team blew what amounted to their final chance to get into contention for the A-League Finals Series.
The New Zealand side lost 4-0 to Western Sydney at ANZ Stadium, just a week after going down by the same scoreline to leaders Sydney FC.
Two wins in a three-game unbeaten spell last month had suggested Darije Kalezic's team had the potential to mount a late-season bid for the top six.
I can accept losing games but when you are second to every ball, you're out of the game you can't keep the ball... I'm so disappointed.Andrew Durante
But instead Durante and his teammates have copped three straight defeats to fall 11 points off the Finals Series places.
Durante questioned the desire of the Phoenix players after they shipped three second-half goals to Wanderers to remain bottom of the table.
"I thought this was our last chance to maybe try to stay in contention for the playoffs," he said. "We spoke before the game about how important this game was to keep our season alive.
"We showed no fight; we showed not enough ticker. I can accept losing games but when you are second to every ball, you're out of the game you can't keep the ball... I'm so disappointed."
The Phoenix still have hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon, as they're only two points adrift of Central Coast Mariners.
Durante said with eight games left, starting with next Saturday's home clash with Perth, the objectives had changed and it was now a case of players battling for their futures at the club.
"It's up to every individual to have a good look at themselves," he said. "We've got a couple of home games coming up which we need to win, just for the sake of some pride."
Wellington are 1/14 to finish bottom of the A-League.
The Phoenix are 7/5 to beat Perth Glory, who are 17/10.
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