Interim coach Chris Greenacre has ruled himself out of contention to replace
the departed Ricki Herbert, believing he is too raw to spearhead the A-League
Greenacre and Jonathan Gould, who is promoted from goalkeeping coach to
assistant, will steer the last-placed Phoenix through the final five games of a
Herbert's sudden resignation after nearly six seasons at the helm has left
Greenacre with little time to digest the consequences.
However, the former English-based striker, who scored 19 goals in 84
appearances for the Phoenix, admits a permanent promotion isn't realistic.
"In the long term, as a young coach, you want to progress the best you can as
a coach anywhere in the world," he said.
"I'm nowhere near the finished article, I'm still learning the ropes. In the
long term, of course. But I've got far too much to learn first to be put in the
ring of fire."
Greenacre, 35, made a heady leap from player to the coaching ranks this year
and says he will be forever thankful to Herbert for the opportunity.
His first emotion was sadness when the board contacted him on Monday.
"Ricki's the reason I'm in New Zealand and my family's in New Zealand.
"I suppose he's my mentor, he's given me my first job in coaching and I'll be
eternally grateful to him for that."
Greenacre set an unlikely personal goal of getting the Phoenix into the
They sit six points outside the top six with little time to prepare for the
first of five remaining games, at home to the Newcastle Jets on Wednesday.
"I just told that players that for the next six weeks you've got to eat,
breathe and sleep this football club. Apart from your families, nothing else is
more important in your lives," he said.
"Whatever your agendas, whether you're in the team or out of the team, it's a
"The reality of how football works is that we've got a game tomorrow night
and we have to move emotions aside and get on with the job of getting three