Heffernan: Bouncing back was key

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Dean Heffernan says his side’s response, after their first defeat last round, is pleasing as they found their winning formula once more against Perth Glory.

Caitlin Cooper nodded home a goal for Western Sydney Wanders three minutes into the contest to set the tone for a return to dominance after the Red and Black were uncharacteristically beaten in their 4-0 defeat to Brisbane Roar last round.

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The absence of USWNT representative Lynn Williams was also compounded by injuries to key first-team figures Erica Halloway and Abigail Smith.

Despite his enforced reshuffle, Heffernan lauded the nature in which his squad bounced back to win 3-1.

“That was a huge game for us, probably the biggest game of the year,” he said.

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“You could feel there was a bit of tension and that’s normal.

“I think now that we got the job done it’s good for us to look back upon.

“We don’t want that feeling again of that loss that we had, and it’s very clear what we need to do now to stop that from happening.”

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Heffernan made clear that in the wake of last weekend’s blowout the club had shared a positive mindset as they anticipated a return to winning ways.

“The girls were brilliant today, as they have been every week,” he said.

“They were brilliant last week, just unlucky at times.

“I’ve never ever been able to question their effort, energy and desire, all those things are there every day for us and we’re very lucky to have players like that.”

The result restores the Red and Black’s second spot on the competition ladder, with a game in hand that has the potential to take them within three points of Melbourne City at the summit.

With both sides still yet to meet, Heffernan is refusing to be carried away by the prospect of silverware in his maiden season at the helm.

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“We’re in a good position but there’s a long way to go and the players know that,” he said.

“We’re lucky that this group are so professional, driven and very competitive, in every training session, they want more.

“We will enjoy this win for today, and prepare for another big game next week.”

Next weekend the Wanderers travel to face another struggling side, Adelaide United, before enjoying a two-week international break.

Heffernan revealed the club have ‘a few games lined up’ to ensure his squad remain primed for what appears destined to be the first W-League finals appearance in the club’s history.

Feature image credit: Steve Christo 

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Chris Curulli
Passionate Sports Media student and all round football obsessive, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019/20 season.