Mark Rudan got off to the perfect start as Western Sydney Wanderers boss as his side secured a 1-0 A-League Men win over Perth Glory on Wednesday night.
The former Wellington Phoenix and Western United coach was appointed the replacement for Carl Robinson on Monday after the Welshman was sacked following Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Brisbane Roar.
A first-half goal from Robinson’s major signing, former England international Jack Rodwell, was enough for the Wanderers to secure just their second win of the season as they moved up to eighth spot on the table.
Rodwell, who was named captain by Rudan just five days after Robinson had handed the role to Tomer Hemed, opened the scoring in the 26th minute in front of a crowd of just 4124 at CommBank Stadium.
Those Wanderers fans who were in attendance got a scare when Perth’s Andy Keogh nearly intercepted a backpass to goalkeeper Tomas Mejias in the opening minute.
The Glory were without Daniel Sturridge, Brandon O’Neill, Bruno Fornaroli, Mitch Oxborrow and Jack Clisby due to COVID-19 protocols and struggled to make much of an impact throughout.
Key to that was Rudan barking instructions from the sideline that led to an increased intensity in pressing from the Wanderers.
From Perth mistakes the Wanderers surged forward with James Troisi and Kejiro Ogawa unable to capitalise on first-half chances.
Rodwell gave them the breakthrough when a Thomas Aquilina cross into the Glory box fell into his feet and after controlling the delivery he fired past Cameron Cook in the Glory goal.
The Englishman seems to have found his spot after being deployed deeper earlier into his spell with the club.
Now playing off Hemed and dropping into pockets out of the box, Rodwell could well have added another two goals and a handful of assists to his name had his finishing and that of his teammates been better.
Perth barely struggled to string an attacking play together in the second half and on another day the Wanderers might have felt they deserved a scoreline more reflective of their dominance.