The Wanderers will be out to prove last week’s performance against Brisbane Roar was just a minor glitch as they look to get their Finals hopes back on track against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
There has been a real sense of commitment and determination in training this week with the team putting the Roar result behind them and focusing on what looms as a pivotal game in the Red & Black’s season.
The team had been showing great signs of a resurgence having put together three wins and a draw under interim head coach Jean-Paul de Marigny before last week’s game.
As they showed in the 1-0 win over Sydney FC the previous week – their second Derby win of the season and the only team to have beaten the competition leaders this season – the Wanderers have the ability and the weapons to make an impact in the Hyundai A-League.
Importantly, they are still very much within touching distance of the Top Six.
In what is a very tight battle, they are in eighth spot on 24 points and are only three behind sixth-placed Western United and seventh-placed Adelaide United but have a game in hand over both clubs.
Securing all three points for the Red & Black will see them move equal on points with Western United, who have the bye this weekend.
But, the Wanderers know it’s not about what the other teams are doing. The focus is on their own game and beating a City side who are in second spot and will be on a high after beating Perth Glory last week.
The Wanderers will go into the game at AAMI Park knowing they have a good record against their Victorian rivals.
The two clubs have met 22 times with the Wanderers winning 11, drawing four and losing seven times.
However, City have had an edge in recent times having won four of the past five encounters, including a stirring contest when they last met at Bankwest Stadium in round seven game on November 22.
The Red & Black were unfortunate not to at least get a point as City scored in the dying seconds to record a 3-2 win.
Western Sydney will still be without defender Daniel Georgievski, who is serving the final week of a two week suspension but de Marigny is confident he has the playing depth to cover for the absence of the Australian-born, Macedonian international.