The contrast between the coaching styles of Tony Popovic and Josep Gombau is comparable to “chalk and cheese” according to Western Sydney Wanderers captain Robert Cornthwaite but the defender is confident his side have taken quickly to the change.

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It’s been just two weeks since Gombau took the reins from caretaker coach Hayden Foxe prior to round six and after his first 90 minutes in charge of the Wanderers the Catalonian coach came away with a one all draw against an uncharacteristically wasteful Melbourne City FC.

There’s no saying how long it will take the Wanderers to properly execute Gombau’s possession based footballing game but Cornthwaite remains optimistic that the early adoption of the Spaniard’s methods will eventuate in wins in the coming weeks.

“It’s going to take time as we keep saying to implement the new football,” said Cornthwaite.

“We’ve got a fantastic group here and we’re grasping things pretty quickly.”

“Hopefully the positive results start to come off the back of some good football.”

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The anticipation from fans to see the new Wanderers approach in action has built substantially over the past week following the decision to post-pone last round’s match against Wellington Phoenix.

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While Cornthwaite was disappointed the game did not go ahead he felt the time allowed for more adequate preparations of Gombau’s game plan.

“We had an internal match on Saturday and I’m sure that would have given Josep a few more ideas and see where the team’s at in terms of implementing that new style,” he said.

“As the weeks roll on I’m sure you’ll see more and more of that sort of football start to come out.”

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Gombau’s next test against Adelaide United is an emblematic game as he faces his former club where his distinctive style of pragmatic football was first thrust upon the A-League.

The game also serves as an opportunity for the Wanderers to redeem their FFA Cup semi final loss against the Reds at Campbelltown Stadium last month who thwarted any hopes of a Sydney derby final coming to fruition.

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For Cornthwaite the upcoming game against Adelaide also bares with it a level of sentiment given he had made over 100 appearances for the club.

“For me personally to go to Adelaide and play in front of my friends and family is always something I’m looking forward to,” he said.

“As you get a bit older you don’t how many times you get to play in front of them so it’s a game I’m looking forward to and to get that next win.”

Cornthwaite joins Brendan Hamill and Mark Bridge to make up the captaincy group for the remainder of the season as the undefeated Wanderers look to finally break their five game draw streak.

 

 

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