Soccer: Brockie on mission to recapture magic touch

By Daniel Richardson

Jeremy Brockie will be focused on helping the Phoenix end a  nine-game winless streak in their clash with Central Coast Mariners  tonight.  Picture / Getty Images
Jeremy Brockie will be focused on helping the Phoenix end a nine-game winless streak in their clash with Central Coast Mariners tonight. Picture / Getty Images

When you're in need of a goal you will try anything as a striker.

Wellington Phoenix forward Jeremy Brockie hasn't found the back of the net since he scored against the Melbourne Victory in round four of the A-League on November 4.

Since then, he has gone on to endure a couple of memorable misses after he fluffed a penalty for the All Whites against Mexico at Westpac Stadium on November 20, while his spurned chance for the Phoenix against the Brisbane Roar last weekend will no doubt turn up on a bloopers reel in the future.

It's been a stark contrast for the 26-year-old, who netted 16 times in 24 games last season during his maiden campaign in Wellington, and he sported a new mohawk-style haircut in last Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Roar as he looked for a point of difference.

"I've been trying everything to get this goal out of the way and it's only hair.

It grows back in," he said.

The Phoenix would appreciate Brockie finding his scoring touch soon, as they attempt to snap out of the funk that has seen them fail to register a win in nine games.

They've looked the part more often than not but have failed to deliver a complete performance and their next chance to do that comes across the Tasman tonight when they meet the Central Coast Mariners at North Sydney Oval.

Brockie did his best to explain what had been behind the Phoenix's inability to finish this season - they've only scored nine goals in as many games - but said the quick turnaround from Saturday's game meant he could put his missed chance against the Roar behind him.

"When you're not winning, as a player and as a team, sometimes it can get a little bit frustrating and the confidence can take a little bit of a blow. Last season if I had that chance [from Saturday] it definitely would have hit the back of the net. But I'll keep working hard and I was obviously disappointed with the outcome of that result there.

"But lucky this game's come pretty soon and it's a good opportunity to get out there and make amends for it." He said the main cause for optimism among the squad was the fact they were putting themselves in the position to score and the only missing ingredient was execution.

"I think we'd probably be a little bit more disappointed if we weren't creating the chances. But we just need to work harder and get more numbers into the box."

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has given his bench a tweak for tonight's game with Josh Brindell-South, Michael Boxall and Jason Hicks all dropping off the pine, while Tyler Boyd, Matthew Ridenton and Leo Bertos come in to the reserves.

Merrick seems likely to stick with the same starting XI from the defeat against the Roar after midfielders Carlos Hernandez and Albert Riera came through training this week. APNZ

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