All eyes were on Western Sydney Wanderers in the lead up to their first round clash with Perth Glory on Sunday.

Speculation shrouded the club after the shock departure of Tony Popovic. Assistant coach Hayden Foxe stepped up to the plate, but taking over what is essentially an entirely new troop of players is no easy task.

Throw in the fact that the red and black have failed to win the first game of the season since their inaugural year and the odds were truly stacked against them.

However any doubts that the side would struggle to perform on the night were laid to rest after stellar performances from club regulars and international marquees alike.

The club’s two newest Spanish editions were the stars of the night, bringing the side a much needed touch of La Liga class.

Oriol Riera continued his FFA Cup goal scoring form calmly placing the ball past Liam Reddy in the 43rd minute to earn his A-League debut goal.

Fellow Spaniard Alvaro Cejudo was clinical and classy throughout the game, providing the through ball which led to Rivera’s finish. The former Osasuna attacker was praised in the commentary box, earning Man of the Match in a vote by Wanderers’ fans.

Club favourite Jumpei Kusakami also found the back of the net, sliding to finish a cross in the 45th minute.

The signing of Roly Bonevacia also proved to be valuable as the former Wellington Phoenix midfielder tested the Perth goalmouth with several long range attempts.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Sunday’s win is the assurance it provided Western Sydney fans that improvements had been made on last seasons lacklustre performances.

After 90 minutes home fans at Spotless stadium could breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that success was still possible in a post-Popovic era.

The game also proved that interim coach Foxe is more than ready to lead his side for the season.

Post-match, Foxe was quick to put an end to the rumours that the club was flailing without his predecessor.

“People have been saying, how are players going to cope? How’s the club going to cope?” explained Foxe.

“When you have a foundation, the club that’s built with the purpose it has been, anything that comes there way in the form of a negative they turn into a positive.”

After three years experience with the club, Foxe had a clear mantra for the remainder of the season.

“We look how can we become better, how can we play better, how can we become better people, how we can we fulfil that and show that on the pitch,” he said.

“I think the players did that today excellently.”

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