Lessons must be learned, says coach

WESTERN Sydney coach Tony Popovic has promised fans his team would learn from Wednesday night's shock 3-1 loss to Wellington at Pirtek Stadium.

It was the team's first home defeat in 360 days, and came after Mark Bridge put the side up 1-0.

"The players are disappointed but we're not going to look too deep into it," Popovic (pictured) said.

"As long as the lessons are learned, we move on to a good game, which is a derby (against Sydney FC next round), so we look forward to that."

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said his team showed great character to win, despite being without the injured Paul Ifill and Carlos Hernandez. Fill-in striker Louis Fenton was also forced off with a shoulder problem.

"The boys are telling me they can't recall going behind away from home and coming back and winning," Merrick said. "That's to do with the mental approach they've got now."