Overlooked players prove their worth in Wanderers win

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Bringing new players into the starting XI is proving the key philosophy behind Mark Rudan’s successful reign at the helm of the Western Sydney Wanderers, with two new players playing vital roles in the side’s latest 2-0 win.

Since Rudan took command, there has been three different starting 11s in four games and the win against Melbourne Victory continues the side’s renewed season.

Rudan’s team earned their second win of the season with two goals from Tate Russell and Dimi Petratos, in the second half.

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The win weakens the Victory’s position in the table and pushes the Wanderers one win outside of the finals berths.

The revised squad for Wednesday night’s match left out big names for the Wanderers including Jack Rodwell, Johnny Koutsoubos and Thomas Aquilina.

This made way for youngster Phillip Cancar, who proved to be up to the challenge with an exceptional performance on debut.

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The starting defender played a pivotal role in landing the opening goal, as well as deflecting a possible equaliser from the opposition.

“I thought Cancar was so composed for his debut. He’s someone that’s caught my eye and has a lot of attributes that I like in that position,” Rudan said.

Cancar was not the only player who stood out, with a change in goalkeeper after the side conceded three goals against Melbourne City last Friday.

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Daniel Margush stepped into the number one spot.

“Margush has been training very well,” Rudan said.

“I wasn’t happy with the way we conceded goals in the last game. At the end of the day, you’re always subject to your performance.

“He has earnt his place for the next game.”

The rebuilding of Rudan’s team has been a slow, yet promising task with the newly instituted Wanderers bagging six out of 12 points in four consecutive home games.

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“[I’m] really happy with the result. Football’s a funny game because I thought the performance wasn’t as good as the last three games, but the result was there,” Rudan said.

“We worked a lot on the things we needed to in the short space of time. I think you saw a difference in attitude, personnel.

“Really pleased of the players who put in a good effort tonight.”

The awakening of the Red and Black has instilled a yearning for a long run of success. What seemed like a team that was detached, has been steadily healing its issues under Rudan’s fresh leadership.

Feature image: Steve Christo

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Paloma Darjani
Covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2021/22 season. Studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney.

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