The Wanderers will be looking to take another step closer to the Finals and what better way to do it than by beating Sydney FC for a second time this season in the Sydney Derby at Jubilee Stadium on Saturday.
Fresh from snapping a three-game losing run with a 3-1 win over Central Coast in Gosford last Sunday, the revitalized Red & Black will be hungry to build some momentum as the season gets down to the pointy end.
Sitting in the eighth spot on 17 points, the Wanderers are just four points behind sixth-placed Western United and have played one game less.
Under interim head coach Jean-Paul de Marigny, there was plenty of purpose, commitment and belief in the away victory against the Mariners – certainly good signs going into the second Sydney Derby of the season.
Defensively they were very solid while the attack, led my man-of-the-match Nicolai Muller, asked ample questions of the Mariners defence in what was one of the club’s best performances of the season.
The Wanderers, however, are under no illusions about the task confronting them on Saturday.
In losing just once in 15 games this season, Sydney have been the dominant team of the Hyundai A-League and lead the competition by an almost unassailable 13 points.
Their only loss was to the Wanderers back in Round 3 at Bankwest Stadium when Mitchell Duke’s 19th minute goal proved to be the match winner.
Unfortunately, the Red & Black season went off the rails for a time following that victory, eventually leading to coach Markus Babbel exiting and de Marigny being installed in an interim capacity.
Though there were plenty of positive signs in the win over the Mariners that de Marigny can continue to turn the season around.
One of the pluses for the Red & Black is the introduction of new signing Simon Cox.
The former Irish international made his debut for the club as a second half replacement against the Mariners and had an immediate impact.
Cox, who has Premier League experience, won a penalty that saw Duke convert from the spot then was on hand to finish off a swift counter attack, scoring on debut to make it 3-1.
With some game time now under his belt, Cox will be pushing for a starting berth which could lead to an interesting contest with Sydney’s ace goalscorer Adam le Fondre.
During his 32 minute stint Cox quickly established a good rapport with Muller and the combination could be a key factor moving forward for the rest of the season.