Jeremy Brockie says a lack of confidence was behind his clunking missed goal for Wellington Phoenix last weekend.
Wellington striker Jeremy Brockie admits his howling miss in the Phoenix’s latest A-League loss is symptomatic of ebbing confidence levels at the A-League club.
Nine goals in as many games doesn’t reflect the attacking progress the ninth-placed Phoenix are making heading into Thursday’s match against the Central Coast Mariners in Sydney, All White Brockie says.
A statistic that shows 20 shots were taken in last weekend’s 2-1 home loss to the league-leading Brisbane Roar brings mixed emotions for the 26-year-old.
While he’s heartened at the chances created, Brockie says more of them should be finished by his winless side.
The most glaring was his own clanger in the 26th minute when he somehow prodded a bouncing ball over an empty goal from metres out.
It was a hole-digging moment for a player who scored 16 goals last season.
“When you’re not winning, as a player and as a team it can get a little bit frustrating. The confidence can take a little bit of a blow,” he said.
“Last season, if I’d had that chance I would have definitely hit the back of the net.
“Luckily this Mariners game’s come pretty soon and it’s a chance to go out and make amends for it.”
Brockie has scored twice this season, in a year when he failed to net in five appearances for New Zealand and scored just once during his 15-game off-season loan to Toronto FC.
The Toronto stint hasn’t impacted on his sharpness in the A-League, he says, adding that goals aren’t far away if the Phoenix maintain their vibrant attacking work of recent weeks.
“We’d be more disappointed if we weren’t creating the chances.”
While the defending champion Mariners are set to be without influential All Whites midfielder Michael McGlinchey due to injury, Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick is poised to field an unchanged starting 11.
He indicated the substitute bench is in for a shakeup, with Tyler Boyd, Matthew Ridenton and Leo Bertos poised to replace Jason Hicks, Josh Brindell-South and Michael Boxall.
The sixth-placed Mariners – who suffered a shock 4-0 loss to Adelaide last weekend – have taken the game to North Sydney Oval for the first time in an attempt to expand their fan base.
The Mariners have won seven of their last eight games against the Phoenix, including a 5-0 drubbing when they last met in February