Socceroo rocked by injury as Rudan laments costly errors in Derby defeat

Western Sydney head coach Marko Rudan concedes the club’s penultimate game of the season against Melbourne City is now likely to be a “winner takes all” clash whilst also revealing Socceroos forward Brandon Borrello’s season is all but over.

Having clawed their way back into the contest via Zac Sapsford’s 95th-minute equaliser, the Wanderers then conceded a 98th-minute goal to go down 2-1, a result which guarantees Sydney FC a spot in the finals whilst leaving Western Sydney in a perilous position.

“Fighting back from one-nil down away from home was good but we missed a lot of good, big chances in the first half,” said Rudan. “You don’t take your chances against a team like this who’s going to have a lot of the ball, you know, they’re going to come back at some stage.

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“Two big ones (defeats) in the last two weeks, we’ve dropped points where we shouldn’t have,” said Rudan, who was then asked about the injury status of Socceroos forward Brandon Borrello, who left the field with a hamstring injury.

“It’s a carbon copy of what happened the first time in the Derby and he missed 12 to 14 weeks there.

“I think his season is done. He won’t come off the park unless it’s pretty bad.”

Rudan then also confirmed defender Tom Beadling is also shaping as a major doubt for the remainder of the campaign after picking up a soft tissue injury which left him unable to continue.

“It’s been the story of our season and I’m not making excuses, It’s been our season. We’ve had a real chequered season this year, a lot of outs for different reasons and it’s really hard.

He continued: “It’s our job to put a new team together almost every week this year. That’s pretty difficult but once again next week, which is a huge game for us, it’s pretty much winner takes all.”

Already balancing a squad hit by injury and Olyroos absentees, Rudan turned to his bench multiple times during the 98 minutes on Saturday night in an attempt to salvage a result with some changes forced while others were tactical.

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However the decision to substitute Tate Russell for Jack Clisby at half-time was one that Rudan didn’t want to have to make but deemed necessary due to the player’s performance.

“Not even tactical,” said Rudan when asked about the substitution in post-match press conference after the game.

“He just wasn’t good enough. He knows that and I told him that. We worked all week on defending (Joe) Lolley. Simple.”

Furthermore, the Wanderers boss was seen deep in conversation with young attacker Marcus Younis at full time with Rudan admitting he made it clear to the 18-year-old he expects better from him.

“He (Younis) knows he has to pick up in the far post there. In the back third, you got to stay with your man. He can’t mark inside, It’s different to the mid-third. So again, it’s a learning for us.”

When asked what he said to the youngster at full time Rudan revealed he laid out in simple terms where the player had gone wrong, even sighting a previous game where Younis hadn’t followed the game plan.

“Last time we played against Western United, where they overloaded and they got a lot of width, we were down to 10-men in that game. He had to track back with Garuchio, who was the left back at the time. So he knows, you know, again, it’s a learning.

“These players have to understand what the game model is and what their roles and responsibilities are with and without the ball in each area of the park.”

With two games left to play the Wanderers still occupy sixth spot on the ladder however it looks increasingly likely their fight to secure a finals berth will go right down to the wire.

Rudan’s side face Melbourne City at CommBank Stadium on Saturday April 20 before a daunting final day trip to AAMI Park to face Melbourne Victory on Saturday April 27 where they may need to win in order to play Finals football.