Wanderers to stick solid for Phoenix test

Winless in their first two A-League Men’s games to start the season, Western Sydney coach Carl Robinson will resist making wholesale changes to his team after an unconvincing 2-2 draw with Newcastle.

Two defensive blunders from the Jets allowed the Wanderers to score both their goals on Sunday with Bernie Ibini and Tomer Hemed cancelling out a Beka Mikeltadze penalty and a Olivier Boumal strike for Newcastle.

The draw follows the Wanderers’ opening day goalless affair with Sydney FC, but Robinson, who accused his side of being “lethargic” in the first half, will stick with what he’s got as they head to Wollongong to face Wellington on Friday.

“When I say wanting it more, you’ve got to be at it from the start,” he said.

“If you’re at 80 or 90 per cent, unintentionally, then you’re going to lose those little battles.

“One or two battles then becomes four or five. Whenever you go onto the field you have to make sure you win your individual battle.

“We didn’t win enough battles in the first half even though we were still in the game.

“In the second half we were much better.”

The Wanderers lacked fluidity in the final third and Robinson said there were moments where his side’s “passive” play drove him mad.

His team looked better the moment Jack Rodwell entered the fray with an hour gone.

The English midfielder weaved his way round two Jets defenders but was unable to finish after having already sprayed his first attempt on goal wide.

Robinson said that Rodwell is likely to see more game time given the Wanderers have a congested fortnight ahead which includes an FFA Cup tie along with A-League clashes against Wellington and Macarthur.

“We’re very lucky to have him and in the brief glimpses he was on the pitch he could and should have scored two goals,” he said.

“One run was amazing where he sat people down and did not execute the finish. How long away is he (from starting)? How long is a piece of string?

“I could throw him in next week and then he picks up an injury because he’s not match fit. He played 45 minutes in the week in a friendly.

“He had 35 minutes today and looked good again. We’ve got a lot of games coming up in a short space of time so he’ll get his starts but it was very promising from him.”