Wanderers defender: ‘Still 26 A-League games to go’

Western Sydney Wanderers defender Robbie Cornthwaite says the remaining 26 Hyundai A-League games will define the club’s season – not Saturday night’s derby demolition at the hands of Sydney FC.

While it was a wonderful night for the A-League with a record crowd of 61,880 at ANZ Stadium to see the Sydney Derby, the 4-0 loss to the Sky Blues has put the Wanderers on the back foot.

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They sit bottom of the league after one round though as the 30-year-old defender says, there’s a lot more football to come. 

“There are 26 games to go and it’s just the first game. Full credit to Sydney FC, they took their chances well,” he told reporters.

“We had a couple [of chances] so a disappointing night but it’s just the start of a long, long season.

“This club is always up there competing, and with the boss we’ve got in charge, everyone knows that Western Sydney will be a team to be reckoned with.”

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Saturday night’s clash, the 13th in Sydney Derby history, was the one-time Socceroo’s first game back in the A-League after six years.

And Cornthwaite was the catalyst for a flashpoint late the first half after his powerful tackle took the ball and Brazilian striker Bobo. 

It sparked a melee that saw yellow cards handed to David Carney, Scott Neville as well as Cornthwaite for the tackle.  

“Obviously I’m always going to win my challenges,” Cornthwaite said. 

“If the ball’s there to be won, I’m going to try win the ball.

“You want to be aggressive, set the tone but I never go in to injure anyone. I did get the ball, maybe it was a bit reckless and the ref deemed it a yellow card, so be it.”

Robbie Cornthwaite

The two sides meet again on January 14 at Allianz, home of the Sky Blues, and February 18 back at ANZ Stadium. 

Meanwhile, Cornthwaite heads back to familiar surroundings when Wanderers face Adelaide United this Friday night. 

The Reds drew in Newcastle on the weekend, so both sides will desperate to kick-start their seasons in what is a Grand Final rematch. 

Cornthwaite built his name at Adelaide United – particularly during their run to the ACL final in 2008 – before his move to the K-League and later Malaysian club football.

“The professionalism has gone to the next level,” he said of the A-League in 2016.

“And Western Sydney is a club at the forefront of that, [the derby] this was my first game back in the A-League after six years so hopefully next week onwards and upwards.

“We’ll go back to the training field now and prepare for Adelaide.”