Western Sydney Wanderers coach Markus Babbel said he could not explain his side’s frustrating fadeouts after a 2-2 draw at Adelaide United on Boxing Day.
The Wanderers led at the break through Oriol Riera and Babbel urged his players to be switched on in the early stages of the second half, anticipating an Adelaide onslaught.
And that duly followed, with Western Sydney unable to stop Adelaide taking the lead thanks to a pair of goals from Nikola Mileusnic.
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The Wanderers were given a route back into the game when Jordan Elsey was sent off for a second yellow card and quickly capitalised when Bruce Kamau levelled proceedings in the 61st minute.
But despite their numerical advantage, the Wanderers faded and Babbel was thankful that the final whistle came when it did.
“What I said in the half-time [break] - they will come out to try everything to try to change the result - and we were not there,” he told reporters.
“For me, I don’t understand this. I don’t understand what I have to learn.
“It was clear … if you stay strong, like in the first half, then, the chance [is] big to get more chances for the second goal.
“Adelaide deserved the point. They deserved it. Maybe if the game is 10 minutes longer, I have the feeling that we lose this game.
“I don’t know what I can say? I’m happy to get a point or I’m angry that we don’t get three points.”
Babbel said the football his side was playing in fits and spurts indicated that the game plan was good.
But he said it may take even more time to eradicate the frustrating lapses in concentration.
“It [good spells] just shows me the game plan that we give the players is good. If they follow the plan, it’s good,” he added.
“We always play a good style of football, dominate the opposite side but all the time if we think we have to do something special, then we come in trouble. This is not so easy, to get this out [of our system].”
Adelaide boss Marco Kurz was happy with the way his side hit back following a “slow” start.
“In the first 25 minutes, we were a little bit too slow. I don’t know why,” he said.
“But the reaction after the half-time [break] was great and also after the yellow/red card.
“I had the feeling that we have the better moments in the game and we were closer to the win.”