The Wanderers’ continuing A-League success has made them a target for opposition sides according to Western Sydney striker Mark Bridge.
Western Sydney’s Mark Bridge says the Wanderers have become the A-League’s hunted ahead of their top-of-the-table clash with Brisbane Roar on Friday.
The Wanderers have built on their stunning success of their premiership-winning debut season to race to the top of the ladder after six rounds this season.
They meet two-time champions the Roar at Suncorp Stadium in one of the most-anticipated games of the season so far and Bridge says the Wanderers’ efforts have other teams gunning for them.
“I think teams really fire up against us every week; teams are lifting to play us,” Bridge told reporters at training on Thursday.
“When they come here, they get that atmosphere that everyone wants to play in front of.
“It’s something that you see. But it doesn’t worry us. You just worry about doing your own job every week.”
The undefeated Wanderers snatched top spot from the Roar courtesy of a 1-0 last-round win over Melbourne Victory, in which Bridge scored his first goal of the season, and Brisbane’s 2-1 loss to Newcastle.
But Bridge said holding onto top spot wasn’t the Wanderers’ focus.
“You are not going to say you don’t want it but there is still a long way to go in the season,” he said.
“Every game is tough for us. Brisbane is a quality side and I’m sure it will be another tough game for us.”
In some rare bad news for the Wanderers, coach Tony Popovic said playmaker Youssouf Hersi would not return from a long-term leg injury for the marquee clash.
“He is not quite ready,” Popovic said.
“He is almost there but we will give him another week and he should be right for next week.”