Phoenix still waiting for ´please explain´
Wellington Phoenix are still unsure whether Andrew Durante or coach Ricki Herbert will be fined for comments made after their loss to Adelaide.
In an interview immediately after the controversial match, Durante branded Adelaide's Argentine striker Jeronimo Neumann a cheat for diving and lambasted the officials, who got two crucial offside decisions wrong.
The Neumann incident saw defender Ben Sigmund shown a red card by referee Jarred Gillett for bringing the Adelaide player down in the box even though TV replays suggested contact between the two players outside the box had been minimal.
Herbert responded angrily to the match review panel's decision not to rescind Sigmund's red card and punish Neumann for simulation. The Phoenix coach questioned the competency of Gillett and said it was wrong that players who dived were not punished.
By Friday's training session neither had been issued with a 'please explain' from Football Federation Australia and both were unsure if they would be sanctioned.
But it was clear the coach and captain were keen to move on from the saga and turn the focus onto their match against Melbourne Victory on Monday instead.
When asked if he regretted his comments, Durante replied: "It's in the past and honestly I really don't want to dwell on it. It's been made a big enough deal as it is. I don't want to add any more fuel to it.
"What's said is said. It's in the past. I said what I said, rightly or wrongly I don't know. But I want to move on from it and I'll talk about Melbourne from here on in please."
Herbert was equally keen to change the subject and he was circumspect when asked if he thought there would now be an increase in diving following the panel's adjudication.
"It's hard to know. I don't think so. If there is and referees deal with it, then great. Our only comments have been (that) around the world it's dealt with. I'm sure it will be here," Herbert said.
Sigmund will miss Monday's match as he sits out the mandatory one-match ban for his red card but Durante was adamant he and his other defenders would not change the way they play despite what happened.
"I've been playing the same way and Siggy (Sigmund) has been playing the same way he plays for five or six years now," said the skipper. "It's how we play and we'll be judged on each performance
"If the ref sees it is a foul and the match review committee sees it's a foul, it's a foul. If they see it's not, it's not. We'll just continue to play the way we play and get that out of our heads."
Central defender Michael Boxall will return to the starting XI in place of Sigmund, the only likely change to be made by Herbert in a match that will see Leo Bertos and Manny Muscat bring up their century of games for the club.
"He's (Boxall) stepped in for myself and for Siggy on two separate occasions," said Durante of the former Vancouver Whitecaps player. "He's been good. He's a big, strong, physical centre-half and I think he's a fantastic replacement to come in.
"We don't really have to worry too much about our defensive shape. He knows the role very well. I'm very confident he can do a good job."