The result left the Phoenix rock bottom of the ladder after eight games, with pressure mounting on the Swiss boss who was appointed in June.

Kalezic was reflective at the post-match press conference, citing one or two key moments and turning points that ultimately settled an affair that was perhaps more even than the scoreline suggested.

“I think we started the game good,” Kalezic said.

“We controlled the game, created also some dangerous situations from which we could make a goal, but we didn’t make [this] goal.

“I think Mariners was crucial tonight in moving very fast between the lines, forwards and backwards, with all three lines in the team.

"Whoever did that better tonight, they get the biggest chance to win the game and after the end of the game, I can say, that was the key to the game.”

The Phoenix are next in action at home to fellow battlers Melbourne Victory on Sunday.

"First and most important thing is to analyse the game agains tthe Mariners," Kalezic said.

"We need to speak with the players about that and know what we did exactly wrong.

"Every game we can win, every game we can lose. Victory are coming at a good time."