Wanderers embracing underdog tag against high-flying City

Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Marko Rudan hopes an honesty session with his players will help shake their patchy run of Isuzu UTE A-League form and spark their season back into life for Sunday’s visit of leaders Melbourne City.

The Wanderers, who claimed four wins from their opening six games before the FIFA Men’s World Cup break, have struggled to recapture their early-season chutzpah.

Since the competition resumed his team have just five points from a possible 15, with their most recent outing a 1-0 loss on the road to Perth Glory.

Rudan questioned his side’s attitude in the aftermath of the defeat and said they had sought to get back on track against a high-flying City.

“We don’t panic about anything, we spoke as a group after the game in Perth,” Rudan said. “It was a really good conversation that we had amongst each other.

“It’s about understanding who we are and what we’ve built up to this point.

“We want to continue to show those behaviours week in and week out.”

Adama Traore in Perth

The Wanderers have the chance to cut the gap on reigning premiers City to four points with victory at CommBank Stadium.

City have been rampant this campaign – Jamie Maclaren scoring 13 goals on the way to them winning eight of their first 10 games.

Across his time in the A-League Men, Maclaren has 17 goals in 17 games against the Wanderers.

And Rudan said City’s red-hot form would ensure his side could play without the burden of expectation.

“The challenge that’s presented itself against the team that’s coming first is one that we’re going to embrace and enjoy,” he said.

“No one’s giving us a chance and that’s good, because we’ve got nothing to lose in this game.

“There’s not one person out there that’s backing us to get anything out of this game. The bigger the challenge, the better for us so we’re going out there with nothing to lose.”

Meanwhile, interim City boss Rado Vidosic said he would continue to ease French midfielder Florin Berenguer back into action.

The 33-year-old picked up a hamstring injury earlier in the season but got a cameo from the bench in last week’s win over Western United.

“He was a bit sore, which is normal,” Vidosic said. “We still need to be careful with him because he hasn’t played 90 minutes in a long time.

“To throw him into the starting side would be irresponsible.”