Rudan: It’s a must-win game

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Mark Rudan has labelled Western United’s match against the Central Coast Mariners a must-win as they fight to find their winning ways again.

Rudan’s squad have seen their race to the A-League finals disrupted over the last month, winless in their last four matches.

The goals have dried up for the A-League’s newest club failing to find the net in all the matches they played in February.

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United’s charge into the top six has heavily halted with the Green and Black’s currently sitting five points out of the top six.

United are hoping to break their dry spell and get their finals campaign back on track this Sunday against the Mariners who are sitting last on the table.

The importance of the match has not been lost on Rudan or his squad, labelling it as a back against the wall, do or die game.

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“For us, it’s a must-win game on Sunday,” Rudan said.

“The players understand how important the game is, so the energy has been high they are fit and fiery and ready to go.”

Plagued with injury and player departures, United’s first A-League season has been far from easy missing five of their key starting 11 players.

Rudan is aware of the challenges his squad have faced throughout the season but is instead focusing on United’s clash against the Mariners.

“I’ve said before we’re not the same team, but we’re taking it one day at a time,” he said.

“We can take a lot of positives from the games we’ve played but we’re focusing on the Mariners this week

“In training, we’re focusing on the tactical side of the game, with the Mariners it’s hard to know what to expect because they’re always chopping and changing.”

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Alen Stajcic’s Mariners have lost their last six matches, a streak that began in January when they lost 3-0 to United at GMHBA Stadium.

Whether United will finish their maiden season in the top six is still up for debate with games against Adelaide United, Sydney FC and Melbourne City to determine their fate.

Feature Image Credit: Western United

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Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season