Kalezic: I never feel pressure

19 February 2018 12:06:32 UK

Darije Kalezic insists he's not felt any pressure since taking over as Wellington Phoenix coach, despite them facing a battle to avoid the A-League wooden spoon.

The New Zealand side have been at the bottom of the table since late November. They would have moved above Central Coast at the end of the weekend's round, after they beat Perth Glory 2-1. But the Mariners stayed above them on goal difference despite only drawing 2-2 against 10-man Adelaide United.

The Phoenix have only won four matches all season and went into the Perth match on the back of consecutive 4-0 defeats to Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Kalezic says he's never felt any pressure as he was always clear with the club's bosses that it would take time for him to find out what was his best team.

Now, he says, he knows how good his players are and is conversant with the level of football in New Zealand.

"So, because I know that exactly, I can never feel the pressure," he said.

Kalezic is understood to have a clause in his contract that means he can be sacked if the team do not make the top six this season.

That's an almost impossible task now, given that they're 11 points behind sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers with seven games to go.

Kalezic, though, says he's confident he knows what the team need to do to kick on - although there's uncertainty over his future as well as that of 14 players whose contracts will expire at the end of the season.

The coach isn't worrying about whether he'll be kept on though and says he's delivered a report to the board about which players should be retained.

"We have a lot of contracts that [are expiring], but not only [us], many clubs in the A-League have a lot of contracts expiring," added Kalezic. "What is interesting is that already many clubs in the A-League have signed a lot of players and transferred players from one club to the other and we are still on the transfer window future."

Wellington are 1/2 to finish bottom of the A-League and 23/10 to win their next game against Central Coast, who are 23/20 with the draw 13/5.

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