Markus Babbel has implored his players to continue their good form after the Western Sydney Wanderers made it two wins on the trot with an impressive 3-1 victory over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
The win on the road backs up the Wanderers’ 2-0 triumph against the Central Coast Mariners last week, a result that snapped a 10-game losing streak for the red and blacks.
The away side took a 1-0 lead through Oriol Reira but suffered a blow before the break when Ryan Kitto thumped home an equaliser.
However, goals to Roly Bonevacia and Abraham Majok earned an unexpected three points away from home for the Wanderers.
While pleased with the result, the coach urged his players to not ease up.
“If I play a game I want to win!” Babbel said post-match.
“I said last week after the game against Central Coast we can’t give 10 games up now so of course we can’t finish on six [wins] but we still have 9 games to go so we want to get results there.”
The German manager conceded that Western Sydney were not the strongest side in the Hyundai A-League and explained how he altered the game plan at half-time to combat the Red’s physical superiority.
“That’s what I said at half-time because they are stronger than us, they’re quicker than us so we have to be smart,” Babbel explained.
“In the first half we started quite well but after 15 minutes we lost the ball too quickly, we couldn’t hold the ball anymore, we would come back deeper and deeper…at half-time I talked to the boys and we changed tactically a bit and said if we don’t start to use our brain then we will lose the game.
“We are not the strongest team in the league so we have to work hard, we have to stay compact, we have to be smart on the pitch because other teams are stronger than us but if we follow our match plan then we are good.
“If don’t follow it like the 30 minutes in the first half we are in trouble but well done, the second half was much better.”
Fellow German Marco Kurz bemoaned his side’s inability to defend after conceding what he labelled ‘soft’ goals.
“The result is correct because Western Sydney were the better team but I’m disappointed because when I saw how we conceded the goals it was too easy,” Kurz said.
“It’s hard to come back but we came back. We got the equaliser and I had the feeling in the second half that we were good in the game but then the second goal was too easy.
“After a throw-in we have a three-on-one situation and you must be stronger in the challenge. Maybe little details but in the end details bring the game in the right direction and today we were a little bit too lazy.”