The Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan says he is proud of the ruthless effort shown by his side to beat the Central Coast Mariners 8-2 last night.
The win was the highest scoring game for the Phoenix as well as equalling the highest scoring A-League football game of all time and has led to the sacking of Central Coast Mariners coach Mike Mulvey.
The result left the rock-bottom Mariners with just seven points from 21 games. Mulvey joined the Mariners ahead of the 2018/19 season but with just one win, the club has decided to act.
The Phoenix went into the contest, having won just one of their last seven matches and in danger of ceding their spot in the top-six.
Goals were aplenty as Rudan’s side knew that a certain scoreline would promote them to fourth spot and the potential of an A-league football home final, come the end of the season.
Rudan said a number of players had stepped up including the evergreen Roy Krishna.
“He was one of the first that I gave a big hug when I came to the club and I told him [Krishna] just how important he was going to be and we were going to work hard to really get the best out of him and the best he’s ever had and right now that’s where he’s heading towards but there’s more to come.”
Rudan said he challenged Krishna and a few others during the past two week’s about what the remainder of the season meant for them.
Rudan believed they had gained a lot of neutral fans who enjoyed watching their dynamic brand of football.
“You only have to look to the 23,000 [strong crowd on the 15 February] in Auckland to talk about has the country got behind us and I think that told you that’s the case.”
He said they worked extremely hard, and they would love to see fans come out in big numbers for the remaining three home games in Wellington.
He said they spoke about creating history at the start of the season but it was down to the players.
“It doesn’t matter what I want, it’s what those boys want, and they’re hungry, they’re desperate, they don’t want to just be playing finals football, they want more than that.”