Heffernan identifies where Wanderers must improve to get season back on track

Western Sydney Wanderers boss Dean Heffernan will urge his side to go ‘back to basics’ following their disappointing 2-0 derby loss to Sydney FC on Saturday night. 

The Red and Black turned in a spirited display at Stadium Australia but were ultimately well-beaten by goals from Mackenzie Hawkesby and Ellie Brush either side of the interval. 

It is the Wanderers’ 15th derby defeat from a total 18 matches against their rivals, having also been on the end of a 3-0 reverse to their cross-town neighbours in Westfield W-League round one back last month.

Heffernan, 40, said he was happy with his side’s performance but made clear there was room for improvement – particularly in one key area.

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“It’s about getting our foot on the ball,” Heffernan told FOX Sports after the match.

“When we win possession, we tend to give away that first pass and put ourselves under a little bit of pressure.

“We needed a little bit more movement, players facing forward and circulating the ball. We showed that last week. There were glimpses of it tonight.”

Western Sydney returned a passing accuracy of just 66% on the night, compared to the 73% they posted in their 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets last week.

Heffernan added: “We need to go back to basics, back to the drawing board.

“We saw glimpses of what we can do against Newcastle and I think we can expect to see a little bit more of that going forward.”

The Wanderers have struggled to replicate the red-hot early season form of last campaign, but with a large overturn of players pre-season there is still plenty of time for Heffernan’s charges to match their maiden finals appearance set in the ex A-League man’s first season at the helm.


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