Western Sydney Wanderers caretaker coach Hayden Foxe accredited his sides FFA Cup semi final loss to the physical toll the recent derby had on his players.

Another match-up with bitter rivals Sydney FC was on the cards for Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday night, but their opportunity to secure an FFA Cup derby final was spoiled by a distinct lack of finishing prowess and an unwavering Adelaide back line.

Passing and build up was no issue for the Sydney side, who ended the game with 66% possession. However Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo was sparsely tested as even the reliable heading ability possessed by Oriol Riera seemed astray.

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The performance was in stark contrast of the polished and persistent display by the red and black during Saturday nights cross city face-off and Foxe was quick to acknowledge that the physical demands of the derby were still evident as his side scrambled to perform in Campbelltown stadium.

“That’s the problem, there’s so much energy spent in a derby,” said Foxe post match.

“More energy than any other game, I don’t care where you are or who you are around the world.”

The Wanderers seemed especially sluggish in the latter stages of the second half, while Adelaide United seemed relatively unfazed by the demands of the midweek clash.

The pace of the game would eventually prove to be the downfall of the Wanderers, who surged after Brendan Santalab calmly tucked away his penalty, only to find their efforts fruitless come full time.

Despite the outcome, Foxe sought the silver lining and praised his sides willingness to continue through the fatigue.

“They gave everything,” he said.

“These boys don’t know how to die down,”

“We went two nil down and could have thrown in the towel, but they didn’t.”

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Finishing is a crucial aspect of the Wanderers game that needs to be addressed, as evidenced by the constant slate of nonthreatening crosses which were easily cleared by the Reds.

Foxe remains confident in the well layered options that the bench provides, and may seek to provide a period of rest for a number of starting players.

“We’ll see how everyone recovers over the next few days and we’ll assess that and see who comes in on Sunday”, he said post match.

“The beauty of this team is that anyone is physically ready to play at any moment.”

“Whether that’s a marquee or a young boy,

“We’ll always play a team that we think can win us the match.”

Western Sydney Wanderers are set to face Newcastle Jets next round as Adelaide United take on top ranked Melbourne City.

 

 

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Second year bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Wollongong. Aspiring Journalist, looking forward to the coming season!