What’s next for Robinson’s Wanderers after derby draw?

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Many Western Sydney Wanderers fan would be walking away from the Sydney derby feeling a little bit underwhelmed after their 0-0 draw, yet there’s no reason to say it isn’t the perfect foundation for the season ahead.

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It’s not rocket science, when you scroll through last year’s results for Western Sydney, and come to the conclusion that they were a long way off the pack last season. The rollercoaster that was their last campaign had many feeling that anything less than a fast start this season would result in Carl Robinson succumbing to the axe.

Although, the most avid fan will tell that after last night’s hard fought draw, against a league benchmark in Sydney FC, may just be early signs of a strong foundation being laid down by Robinson.

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Speaking after the match, a relaxed Robinson was quick to look at the positives moving forward.

“We had nine players making their debut tonight. That is a lot of new faces,” he said.

“What that says is that we probably played 70 per cent of the match on sheer determination and effort.”

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There can be no denying the effort. Coming up against a trophy-ladened Sydney, Robinson’s men won the possession battle 53% to 47%, out passing their opponents 548 to 489 in the process. This hasn’t been the story in years gone by. 

Although a lack of killer instinct in the final third ultimately let his side down, Robinson believes it was about laying the right foundations for the season ahead.

“At times I felt we huffed and puffed in the final third with no product,” he said.

“We probably turned the ball over too much in the middle…but this is a brand new team and it’s about laying the foundations for how we want to be as a football club and I think you saw some of that tonight.”

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Now it is one thing for the manager to feel this way but how about the players out there on the field?

Midfielder Steven Ugarkovic, the engine room of Western Sydney’s midfield, was fairly pleased walking away with a point making note of the team’s ability to stick around with Sydney.

“It was a pretty balanced game throughout. We had chances that we should have put away but I think overall for a first hit, it’s positive,” Ugarkovic said. 

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“The fight and willingness to hang around for the full 90 minutes is really pleasing. The other things will come with time and more games so I think it’s a nice start for us.”

For Robinson’s side, they won’t be overly praised nor hung drawn and quartered after that result, but in time, we can expect that many will want to see more improvement in the final third.

This is where they will be judged. For now, Robinson will head back to the drawing board, looking forward to welcoming Newcastle Jets next Sunday night. If these ‘foundations’ have supposedly been laid, are fans rightly allowed to expect more improvement next week?

Time will ultimately tell.

Feature Image: Aleks Kostadinoski

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Joseph Esposito
A diploma graduated Sports Media student, currently studying Law. Football obsessed, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the upcoming 2021/22 A-League season.

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