Wellington Phoenix A-League soccer coach Ricki Herbert insists Belgian import Stein Huysegems remains part of the club's plans, despite him being an unused substitute against the Melbourne Heart on Thursday night.
Herbert has used a front three of Jeremy Brockie, Tyler Boyd and Louis Fenton in the last two games, leaving 30-year-old Huysegems - one of the side's highest-paid players - sitting on the bench.
The former Belgian international, who signed a two-year contract with the club in September, played only 13 minutes in the Phoenix's 1-1 draw with the Mariners last Saturday and, although he warmed up on Thursday night, didn't enter the fray as the Wellingtonians beat the Heart 3-2.
Huysegems enjoyed a great start to his Phoenix career with three goals in the opening four games of the season but his involvement has been staggered since and he has struggled to make an impact in his last five outings.
"[Huysegems] is a strong part of what we are doing. He's been on the score sheet three times [this season] and I'm sure he'll be on there again," said Herbert.
The Phoenix's next A-League encounter comes against the Roar in Brisbane on New Year's Day and, with such a short turnaround, the players are expected to be given time to rest during the next few days rather than be flogged on the training pitch.