Phoenix boss Mark Rudan has hit out at Ernie Merrick saying comments made by the Newcastle Jets coach after their round one loss in Wellington was 'disrespectful'.
Wellington snatched a 2-1 victory against the Jets in the opening round encounter with Merrick questioning the Phoenix's ability to play attacking football this season during his post match press conference.
"I think when you play that defensive structure, if it's a draw or you're up 1-0, it really works," Merrick said.
"The problem is, when you play like that when you're down a goal, it makes life very difficult. You've got to change your whole mindset and play much more attacking football and commit forward."
The comments have seemingly hit a nerve for Rudan , albeit three weeks after the fact, who fired back at Merrick during a press conference on Thursday.
"I thought that was somewhat disrespectful, that's not how I work," Rudan said.
"I wouldn't talk about another team or what they could do better or what type of team they are.
"I think everyone has their own way of doing things as a coach and I certainly wouldn't pass comment on Ernie.
"I've got a lot of respect for him, but I kind of thought it was a little bit disrespectful, particularly after losing.
"I thought our tactics were much better than theirs because they play a certain way, we set-up a certain way to combat what they're good at and we won the game."
Wellington have not scored since their round one win against the Jets suffering defeats to both Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers.
This week Wellington travels to Melbourne to play Melbourne City at AAMI Park.