Wellington Phoenix coach quits

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert quit his post on Tuesday after a dismal run of results leaving the New Zealand-based club rooted to the bottom of the A-League.

Herbert, who has coached the Phoenix since its inception in 2007, said he wanted to concentrate on his role as coach of the New Zealand national team and it was time for a new man to bring in a "fresh" approach.

"I've had a long and very successful tenure at the club and will always be proud of what I have achieved," he said in a statement.

"But all good things must come to an end and it's time for new coaching blood and for me to move on to new and exciting challenges."

Herbert, 51, was the Australian A-League's longest-serving coach and guided the Phoenix to three finals series.

He was under pressure from the club's owners this season to change his team's conservative playing style and produce entertaining football to help draw in bigger crowds.

But the effort backfired as the Phoenix fell apart defensively, managing just five wins in 22 matches and enduring a club record 7-1 defeat to Sydney FC last month.

Phoenix Rob Morrison said Herbert would continue as a technical football adviser.

Morrison said Herbert's assistant Chris Greenacre will take over as head coach until the end of the season.

Herbert said he expected to have a busy time with the New Zealand All Whites as they attempt to qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

"This year is an extremely important one for the All Whites (and) I felt I needed to step down as the Phoenix head coach," he said.

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