Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau says Western Sydney’s players will be motivated by their ACL success heading into final A-League rounds.
Adelaide United boss Josep Gombau reckons Western Sydney’s busy Asian Champions League schedule will help – not hinder – the young club heading into the final month of the regular A-League season.
The Wanderers battled fatigue, jetlag and a soggy Pirtek Stadium on Saturday evening to hold the competition’s most prolific goal scorers to a 0-0 draw.
It was a mighty effort, given six of the home side’s 11 starters had only arrived from China a day earlier following Thursday’s historic ACL win over Guizhou Renhe.
It was the first time in 12 matches the Reds failed to score a goal – ending a league-high run.
But Gombau was left satisfied and said he was hardly surprised at the Wanderers’ stamina.
“I think that one team is doing two competitions.
“Everybody wants to play very good to have a chance to play,” he said.
“This is an extra motivation for everybody and I don’t expect that they will be tired at any moment.”
Despite walking away with one point, the Wanderers slid to third on the ladder – leapfrogged by Melbourne Victory late on Saturday night thanks to their 2-1 win over Perth Glory.
They sit one point behind Victory and 10 behind leaders Brisbane.
And while Tony Popovic’s men haven’t won a game in three A-League rounds, the coach isn’t worried.
“We went from the disappointment of Sydney FC, where we didn’t perform badly but we lost the game, three days later lessons are learnt and it’s a fantastic win, a historic moment in the ACL, then you come back and you have to respond,” Popovic said.
“And every one of those players responded. They’re out on their feet, they gave everything they had.”
The Wanderers have just three days before their third ACL group match, against Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale at Parramatta Stadium.