Kalezic to leave Phoenix

01 March 2018 03:29:05 EST

Darije Kalezic won't be Wellington Phoenix's coach next season, and could depart before the end of the current campaign.

The New Zealand side have endured a miserable season under the Swiss coach, winning just four of their 21 games so far.

They're on track to claim the second wooden spoon in the club's history. Though Ricki Herbert survived as coach after finishing bottom in their first season, it seemed unlikely that Kalezic would be kept on if they finished at the foot of the table.

And with six games to go the club have announced that they will have a new coach for 2018-19.

It's not clear whether Kalezic, who was appointed last June, will keep his job for the rest of this season.

There was no way the club and Darije were going to agree on a few important aspects.

David Dome

There are six games still to play, and more than a week before their next match against Western Sydney, so they could make a quick change.

General manager David Dome said: "We've been talking to Darije for the last few weeks about what he wanted to do next year and we came to the conclusion that there was no way the club and Darije were going to agree on a few important aspects that Darije wanted to continue with or changes at the club he wanted to make.

"So we agreed it was best for both that we go our separate ways."

The Phoenix are 1/14 to finish bottom of the league.

Dome indicated Kalezic wanted to see out the season before departing, but added: "We're going to go and talk to him now and work out what is best for the club in the next couple of weeks and six remaining games."

Kalezic is understood to have a clause in his contract stating he can be sacked without compensation if the club don't finish in the top six.

They still have a chance of making the Finals Series, lying nine points off the top six.

After winning just one of their first 14 matches, they've since earned three victories in their last seven outings but have been stuck at the bottom of the table since November.

Dome said: "Darije is still of the opinion he can lead the club and the team until the end of the season. If we think that's the best alternative, then we'll look at it."

Wellington are 13/5 to win their next game against Western Sydney, who are 10/11 with the draw 14/5.

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