Under-fire Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka is poised to make changes as his side's A-League campaign reaches crisis point.
The Sky Blues shipped in four goals for the second successive game when they went down 4-2 at Wellington on Wednesday.
The defeat to Ricki Herbert's side comes hot on the heels of a 4-0 home defeat to Melbourne Heart and Lavicka, who is off contract at the end of the season, conceded after the game he may have to shuffle his pack.
Sydney sit in fifth spot on the ladder, but with fixtures against league leaders Central Coast and reigning champions Brisbane in their next two games, the pressure is on to stay in finals contention.
Fortunately, Nick Carle and Karol Kisel are available to return for Sunday's home clash with the in-form Mariners, who sit six points clear at the top of the table.
Kisel is back from suspension and top-scorer Carle is fit again following a hamstring injury that's sidelined him for three matches.
Despite his defence conceding 10 goals in their past three outings, Lavicka indicated he would keep faith with his leaky backline after the loss to the Phoenix with changes likely to come in attack.
"Defensive work is not just about the defenders - we have to improve as a team, everybody together as a unit - this is our biggest problem," Lavicka said.
Skipper Terry McFlynn bemoaned the side's missed chances in front of goal and insisted the blame for the side's problems should not be laid entirely at the feet of the defence.
"We create chances, but we're not being clinical enough in the right areas, the right situations, to punish teams," McFlynn said.
A number of squandered opportunities cost Sydney dearly with Mark Bridge and Bruno Cazarine both missing gilt-edged chances at Westpac Stadium.
Bridge or Shannon Cole may find themselves out of the starting line-up with Kisel likely to return in midfield and Carle could come in for youngster Dimitri Petratos.
Lavicka guided the Sky Blues to premiership success in his first season in 2009.
However, with a dismal ninth-place finish last year, he only just survived the axe when he was handed a new 12-month deal by the club last February.
Failure to feature in the top-six for a second successive campaign would almost certainly see his three-year tenure brought to an end by a Sydney board that has appointed five coaches in the club's seven-season history.