‘Result-wise, disappointing. Performance-wise, great’: Rudan hopeful despite consecutive loss

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Going up against Melbourne City, a team that has climbed the rankings, Mark Rudan says he hoped his few weeks as head coach would have instilled a new regime in his team.

Despite his efforts to extricate his team from the mess that has proven to be at Western Sydney Wanderers, the rebuilding of his team has not quite reached the desired destination with just one win and two defeats.

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Rudan went into Friday night’s 3-1 loss knowing exactly who his opponents were, and an understanding of his teams’ weaknesses that he was looking to provide concrete solutions for.

“You’re talking about Mathew Leckie who has got almost 100 caps for the Socceroos and that’s the difference right now,” he said.

“They’re an experienced team, they’re the champions. They went in the game and all of the sudden they get a sniff, and get one and a second one.”

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Rudan made the call to save playmakers and goal scorers Jack Rodwell, Tomer Hemed, and Johnny Koutrombis by resting them in an effort not to risk them being booked again for later games. This meant his team were left without their two top scorers.

The Western Sydney local, however, was pleased with the body of work that his team put into the battle for three points.

“I thought we looked pretty good for about 70 per cent of the game. We are changing certain behaviours and habits. It was just set pieces,” he said

“This is our best performance in the three games that I’ve been coach.

“It’s been two tough games against the best two teams.”

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With a fair few games remaining in their campaign, Rudan can only take it day by day. Overall, he was appointed to the role to put the work in and try to reconstruct a team that had long been absent.

“You might think I’m naïve, but I’ve started a journey that the players have bought in, the staff has bought in. It’s been a heck of a lot of work, and I’ve seen a massive improvement in our performance,” Rudan said.

“They picked up niggles and with the games that we’ve got, I made the decision not to risk any of them moving forward.”

Feature image credit: 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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