Wanderers boss Heffernan promises to 'mix things up' for Sydney derby

Dean Heffernan is prepared to scrap the template of last December's derby thrashing of Sydney FC ahead of Saturday's blockbuster rematch with the Sky Blues. 

Western Sydney Wanderers hammered their rivals 5-0 at Parramatta Stadium and will be aiming to register two wins over their rivals for the first time in club history when the two sides meet at Cromer Park.

The Red and Black looked like Premiership winners in that scintillating win but despite the victory being such a landmark result, it has not proved to be the springboard to success it could have been.

The Wanderers thrashed Canberra 4-0 six days later but either side of a win over Perth Glory, the club were touched up 4-0 in their own backyard by Brisbane Roar and were shocked by rock-bottom Adelaide United 3-2.

Now, having had three weeks to rest, Heffernan believes his side can regroup for one last push. A Sydney derby draw would open the door for Melbourne City to clinch the Premiership with a win over Melbourne Victory this Sunday, but a Wanderers win would re-ignite hopes considering they take on the leaders at home next Thursday night

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“For us, that [derby win] has long gone,” Heffernan told the club website. 

“Of course, we will always have fond memories of it but we know, come this game, it’s going to be a completely different challenge altogether.

“We know that Sydney is going to want revenge, why wouldn’t they?

“But we are ready for that. We are ready to really get out there and mix things up a little again in this derby and get the win.”

Heffernan added that it would be a much-changed line up to the one which put Sydney to the sword two months ago, and hinted that United States international forward Lynn Williams might not be a guaranteed starter.

“Every derby is going to be different. From our perspective, we have lost a few players - Erica (Halloway) to a knee injury, Abby (Smith), Lynn has been away for six weeks and Denise (O’Sullivan) has gone," said Heffernan.

Denise O'Sullivan
Departed midfielder Denise O'Sullivan helped the Wanderers crush Sydney FC in their last meeting

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“So it’s a slightly different line-up for us, but an exciting one still. It always will be that way for our club and this team. We are, really excited to see what the girls can produce this week."

The Wanderers also announced several changes to their Westfield W-League roster on Friday.

Midfielder Vesna Milivojevic has left by mutual consent to pursue an overseas opportunity, while scholarship player Tiana Jaber has been upgraded to a professional contract. 

Train on players Rosie Galea (Macarthur Rams Womens), Chloe Middleton (Illawarra Stingrays), Sophie Magus (Sydney University) and Danika Matos (Illawarra Stingrays) have both been upgraded to Scholarship contracts for the remainder of the season.

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Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Kick-off: 5pm AEDT
Venue: Cromer Park
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports

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