‘Here to win’: Robinson set on delivering Championship to Wanderers

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Nine seasons into their A-League history, the Western Sydney Wanderers are still without a Championship – but coach Carl Robinson is determined to change that.

The Wanderers enjoyed plenty of success in their early days; lifting the Premier’s Plate in their inaugural season, becoming the first Australian club to win the AFC Champions League, and reaching three Grand Finals within four seasons of joining the A-League.

An A-League Championship has proven elusive however, and the club has somewhat fallen off the perch recently. The Wanderers were defeated in all three of their Grand Final appearances and have now gone three consecutive seasons without reaching the playoffs.

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However, Robinson – who over the off-season became the club’s fourth head coach in the space of three years – says he has mapped out a long-term project that will finally deliver the Wanderers to the promised land; and is absolutely determined to achieve it.

“We’re here to win,” the Welshman recently declared.

“That’s the end goal, that’s the objective. When you manage a big football club, those are the targets you’ve got to achieve.

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“We’re starting a project here, I said that from day one. Three or four months in, the progression has been really quick and really good.

“We’re still nowhere near where we need to be, but the objective won’t change – we want to win.”

The early signs have certainly been promising, with the Wanderers sitting in fourth place on the league ladder after eight matches. And with a game in hand, they are just five points off the first-placed Central Coast Mariners.

Further, the Wanderers have the league’s equal best defensive record. The Red & Black have conceded just eight goals to date, and only one from open play.

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While he conceded improvement is needed in terms of defending set pieces, Robinson could hardly be happier with the solidity shown at the back by his Wanderers team.

“You can look at it whichever way you want, but I’m a really positive guy,” he said.

“Two of the goals we’ve conceded were from corners where we lost our markers, which is 100 per cent on us.

“But then there’s two penalties, which I think you need to speak to the referees about, whether they were actually penalties or not. There was a deflected free kick, and what can you do about that? And then two wide free kicks; one away to Newcastle Jets where we won the game, and then one on Sunday (against Wellington Phoenix).

“We need to be better, but four or five of those set pieces we can’t do anything about.”

The Wanderers have an opportunity to close the gap on the Mariners this Saturday night with a home match at Bankwest Stadium against their 2016 Grand Final foes, Adelaide United.

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Robinson said a big home crowd would be a huge asset, as the team returns to the levels that Wanderers fans have come to expect over the years.

“We want support,” he said.

“The more crowd we get, the more RBB fans we get, the better. We’ve got to earn that support, and we will.

“The boys never give in… that never-say-die attitude is getting back to where it should be, and we want to win. The more support we can get, the better.”

Feature Image Credit: Peter Hugg

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Jye Campbell
Journalism student at Western Sydney. Love my football (#lazoumance) and rugby league (#pantherpride). Advocate for FIFA Career Modes. Covering Western Sydney Wanderers in both A-League and W-League for the 2020/21 season.
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