Coach Ricki Herberts gets the thumbs up from All Whites great Steve Sumner as the man to get the Phoenix out of the colossal hole they've dug themselves.
There have been calls for the head of Herbert, a teammate in the famous 1982 World Cup team that Sumner led, after the calamitous slump by the Phoenix which culminated in Saturday's record 1-7 loss to Sydney FC. They're last in the A-League with only four wins from 17 matches.
"He'll have up and down moments and at times wonder if he's got things on the right track," Sumner said. "But he's got six years under his belt there now and got to this point. Why flick him out now? Who's got better experience to go in there?"
Sumner said he would not like to see the experience Herbert had gained at the Phoenix wasted.
"And if some people have let him down, if that's what's happening, they'll let someone else down."
While he's supportive of Herbert, Sumner, who played a record 105 matches for the All Whites, is as concerned as any fan about what's happening at the Wellington club.
They'd lost their way at times but could get it all back, he said.
Everyone needed to sit down and have a heart-to-heart behind closed doors and get any issues out of the way, "then get out and do the job, and scrap and battle".
The owners wanted to change things, said Sumner.
"And I think that would have created some of the unrest in the camp. I think that's why they are where they are now. They should have kept it quiet at board level."
The owners had acted with the best of intentions and wanted their investment and the football to go well.
"But the way they've gone about it is not right. They've gone about it in a naive way."
The board and some spectators would like to see a "pretty" game of football but that was not in the nature of the players the Phoenix had.
Sumner also has some concerns about the team's fitness. Bob Schumacher's take on the Phoenix, page 43