WELLINGTON - Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi was brutal in his analysis of his team's failings after their disappointing 3-2 loss to Wellington Phoenix left them mired at the bottom of the A-League table.
Leading 2-0 after 16 minutes, the Heart showed little appetite for a fightback and succumbed with a meek second-half performance after making all the early play on Thursday night.
Golgol Mebrahtu's curling free kick put them ahead after 14 minutes, with an own goal from Phoenix captain Andrew Durante doubling the lead two minutes later.
Teenage winger Louis Fenton pulled one back for the Phoenix in the 21st minute, then two Jeremy Brockie goals in the second spell secured the win for Wellington.
Aloisi says the manner of the loss was the most disappointing aspect, particularly the way Melbourne reacted after a mistake at the back let Fenton in for his second goal of the season.
"We switched off, we folded," Aloisi said.
"We made a bad mistake like that, then the players didn't look like they really wanted to be out there.
"I don't mean not running and chasing, I mean playing the way we want to play and know how to play."
It was the Heart's seventh loss of the season and their third on end after they fell 2-0 to the Mariners and 2-1 in a heart-breaking injury-time loss to cross-town rivals Victory last week.
"That was the beauty of last week against Victory - even when we went 1-0 down, we kept on trying to play our football right to the end," Aloisi said.
"It's upsetting, because anyone can make a mistake - a team can make a mistake, but you have to keep on going."
Aloisi's focus centres now on Heart's next match at home against Newcastle Jets on New Year's Day, when he'll have central defenders Simon Colosimo and Patrick Gerhardt back from suspension, as well as Socceroos Richard Garcia and Aziz Behich who were rested for the Wellington trip.
"We have to fight back, we've got no choice."