Western Sydney Wanderers manager Markus Babbel says the progress his young brigade have made is starting to bear fruit.
The Wanderers cruised to an impressive 3-0 win over Melbourne City at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
A double to Oriol Riera bookended a Mitch Duke strike as Western Sydney continued their mini resurgence in 2019.
Speaking post-match, Babbel said the improvement the whole squad had made since the winter was clear to see.
“For me it is much easier to find a team,” he said.
“It’s a challenge there but also the quality in the training is higher now, the young players are improved.
“We started on a different level to now so the quality in training is better, it’s getting higher and for me it is not a surprise that we are getting results now.”
So impressed has the German coach been that he felt comfortable leaving fellow countryman Alexander Baumjohann on the bench.
That ploy proved successful with the playmaker coming on and immediately making an impact with an assist against a tiring City defence.
“It’s a challenge now [selection],” Babbel said.
“I have more options, of course Alex was a bit unlucky because he got injured but it is great to have these kind of players on the bench because sometimes you need fresh legs and it’s not just a players to fill a space, quality comes in and especially if you see the third goal it’s exactly what I mean.”
The 46-year old proved he wasn’t afraid to experiment either with winger Bruce Kamau deployed as a fullback for the night against his former employers.
“In the past he played a couple of times in this position,” Babbel explained.
“He has the physical capacity for this, this is one of his biggest strengths, he can run and also he’s technically good so that was why we thought we would try him in this position, he’s doing well.”
City manager Warren Joyce said that while he was disappointed on the night, it wasn’t a cause for concern given his side’s form leading up to Saturday’s fixture.
“I don’t think [it’s about] turning things around,” Joyce said.
“The performances before were alright, we had a run of games where we were unlucky not to pick up more points than we did.”