Wellington Phoenix coach Darija Kalezic is already looking towards next season, after seeing his team cop another heavy defeat.
The Phoenix lost 4-0 to leaders Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium, and could find themselves five points adrift at the bottom of the table by the end of the round.
Two wins in their previous four games had given them some hopes of causing an upset against Graham Arnold's side, but they were very much second-best in losing to the Sky Blues for a third time this season.
There were more defensive mistakes from the side, who have now lost six of their nine away games.
We have to do a lot different than what we did this year and in previous years.Darija Kalezic
And though the Phoenix can still make the Finals Series, first-year coach Kalezic admits he has one eye on next season.
Brought in to try to revitalise the club, Kalezic has so far only gained three wins in 18 games but says he's learned enough to know what he needs to do.
"I honestly believe we can turn that situation in a positive way, and that is something that gives me energy and keeps me positive, because I think in the A-League with a smart vision, with a smart programme, there is not so huge difference between the clubs in terms of budget and in terms of everything," added Kalezic.
"I know exactly what we have to do, and we have to do a lot different than what we did this year and in previous years.
"And now we are talking about that and our conversations and our meetings give me a really positive feeling. We will see in the next weeks what is going to happen."
Wellington were not helped by the mounting injury toll, with Roy Krishna, Andrija Kaludjerovic and Tom Doyle all ruled out of the Sydney trip while Marco Rossi and Matthew Ridenton both limped off during it.
The Phoenix are 7/5 to win their next game against Western Sydney, who are 19/20 with the draw 11/4.
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