No emotion for Rudan before Western clash

New Western Sydney coach Mark Rudan says he hasn’t given any thought to facing his former club Western United in his second A-League Men game in charge of the Wanderers.

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The two sides meet on Saturday at CommBank Stadium with the Wanderers aiming for back-to-back victories after a lone Jack Rodwell goal against Perth Glory on Wednesday evening secured just their second win of the season.

When asked about what he felt heading into the game, he said: “Nothing at all.

“My focus and dedication is completely on Western Sydney Wanderers.

“There’s no time for thinking about what has been because they’ve got a new coach and I’m a new coach at a new club.”

Rudan said he was continuing to identify players that could boost the Wanderers squad before the transfer window closes next week, with any new arrivals likely to come from rival A-League clubs.

The new Wanderers boss said he may transition to a back three as he often has done throughout his previous coaching roles.

One of Rudan’s first moves was to make midfielder Rodwell captain and play him as a shadow striker, with the Englishman expected to continue in that role.

“I’d happily play anywhere,” said Rodwell, who will wear the armband again on Saturday.

“I’m managing to get into the box and get some goal scoring opportunities.

“I captained the youth teams with England but that’s a few years back.

“It was an honour when the manager said he wanted me to be captain.”

Rodwell was at a loss to explained the reasons behind the Wanderers’ slow start to the season, which culminated in Carl Robinson being sacked, but he said he believed with greater time together they could turn the corner.

“I don’t want to make excuses but with COVID-19 we’ve barely had a rhythm of games,” he said.

“It’s a new squad of players and I think in the first game there were eight or nine debuts or something mad that you wouldn’t see back in England.

“You’re trying to gel as a team and then COVID-19 hits… Hopefully with the games coming thick and fast then we can get to know each other a bit more.”

Western boss John Aloisi said he would check on the fitness of Alessandro Diamanti after the Italian ace missed their 2-2 draw with Macarthur on Tuesday.