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Herbert eyes changes for Adelaide match

16:00 Thu Dec 13 2012
Jeremy Brockie
Jeremy Brockie is in doubt for the Phoenix's A-League clash with Adelaide.

Last week's underwhelming performance against Sydney FC is still preying heavily on Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert's mind as he prepares for Sunday's 11th round A-League match against Adelaide.

"There was a 90-minute period when 11 players were flat," Herbert said of Sydney's 2-1 victory at Westpac Stadium.

"It wasn't a good performance, and we've got to stare that one pretty firmly in the face, drive on and look for improvements this week."

There'll need to be plenty. Adelaide sit second on the ladder with 22 points and have only been beaten twice this season.

The Phoenix have three wins and sit sixth on 12 points, with four other teams in a log-jam behind them only two points astray.

Adelaide and Wellington last met in a fiery fourth-round clash at Hindmarsh Stadium which resulted in seven yellow cards, Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund's sending off and a controversial 3-1 win to Adelaide amid accusations that Argentine striker Jeronimo Neumann dived.

Herbert promised a shake-up to his starting line-up after the Sydney loss, and looks set to follow through.

"I think there'll be a couple of changes, and I think that's pretty fair across the board," he said.

"We'll make a little bit of a stance on this and I think we'll see a pretty good reaction."

One change Herbert won't want to make is up front, where some doubt surrounds the fitness of in-form striker Jeremy Brockie.

Herbert is optimistic Brockie's hamstring twinge, which stopped him from training on Thursday, will clear. But he says the Phoenix have plenty of options in Louis Fenton, Benji Totori and Tyler Boyd should Brockie be unavailable.

He's also admits the return from injury of creative midfielder Dani Sanchez throws up further possibilities around structure and game plan.

"He's a different sort of player, he gives us options," Herbert said.

"He's been out for a long period and it's a tough ask over in Adelaide.

"But he's training well, and we're going to have to throw him in somewhere. I could be tempted to start him."