Roberts praises pragmatic Wanderers despite City defeat

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Western Sydney Wanderers defender Alix Roberts believes effective use of the offside trap was a key component in suppressing the attack of Melbourne City in their clash at ANZ stadium on Monday night.

Seven offside decisions were given to Melbourne City over the course of the game and the Wanderers managed to contain the threatening combined efforts of Kyah Simon and Jess Fishlock until a 92nd minute goal earned the visitors a late victory.

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Fishlock in particular has been rampant moving forward notching five goals across seven games and earning a spot in the ranks of the W-Leagues top goal scorers this season.

Her late winner dealt a heavy blow to the Wanderers who now sit just three points ahead of Adelaide United at the bottom of the table and at this point of the season may once again be denied a position in the finals.

The loss was made all the more frustrating considering the Red and Black were clinical in halting an arguably stronger Melbourne City side until the lapse in the rearguard just moments before full time.

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Despite the result Roberts was pleased with her side’s alertness and adaptation to the attack from City.

“As a defence we talked about what we needed to do, they do like to play those balls in behind”, she said.

“Playing them offside was the way that we kept them out today.”

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Roberts was also quick to praise the efforts of the rest of the Wanderers defence and was particularly admiral of Maruschka Waldus who partnered with her well during the tight contest.

“I’ve worked well with Maruschka this season and she definitely brings out the best in me.

“I think today we shut Kyah Simon down well and were just unlucky in the end to let it slip.”

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With four games still to play and a bye next week the Wanderers have shown glimpses of quality but often forced to pay for their profligacy.

After three seasons at the Wanderers Roberts knows that the ability to maintain focus and optimism as the finals loom is what makes or breaks teams at the latter end of the season.

“We talked about the disappointment we feel right now because it shows how much we’re committed and how much we care.

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“Recovery starts tomorrow so it’s a new week and we have to stay focused during the bye week.

“We can’t dwell on the decision tonight but only think about it and let it go tomorrow.”

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Rowan McClatchey
Rowan McClatchey
Bachelor of Journalism student from the University of Wollongong, covering Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2017/18 season.

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