Wellington coach Natalie Lawrence has hailed her side's toughness as they aim to claw their way off bottom spot with two games left.
Wellington Phoenix coach Natalie Lawrence says her players are "hurt" after last weekend's loss all but condemned them to a second-straight A-League Women wooden spoon.
The Phoenix, who are only in the second year of existence, travel to face Adelaide United on Tuesday in their penultimate game of the season.
Wellington currently sit bottom, five points adrift of the Newcastle Jets.
Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Jets will be viewed as the one that got away, with the Phoenix now needing to win their remaining fixtures against Adelaide and Melbourne Victory to stand a chance of avoiding a bottom-placed finish.
The defeat to struggling Newcastle would have been all the more disappointing given only a fortnight ago the Phoenix upset table-topping Sydney FC.
"It's hurt, they've been pretty gutted," Lawrence said.
"The Sydney game felt like a big turning point.
"I think the positive they'll see is the performances have been there but the results haven't.
"They're pretty resilient and strong. We were gutted after Newcastle but we have a game and have to refocus.
"They kind of felt sorry for themselves a little bit and then moved on to get ready for Adelaide."
Lawrence said the Phoenix would rotate players in Saturday's game against theVictory, their third match in eight days.
"I think a big learning from last year is that we maybe didn't rotate the squad, given the opportunity to when we had really, really quick turnarounds," she said.
"So there definitely will be some rotation so that we can ensure that there is freshness around the field for all three games.
"Everyone came through the Newcastle game pretty well, we had some sore bodies, as you'd expect at this end of the season.
"That will kind of dictate the line-up and the 16 (player squad)."