It’s been two years to the day since Western Sydney last tasted success in the Sydney Derby but n marquee Dario Vidosic says the record books aren’t relevant to a squad with so many new faces.
The Wanderers will likely enter the derby as favourites in their own backyard and sitting in second place on the A-League ladder but recent history hasn’t been kind when it comes to clashes with their fiercest rivals. Winless in five games against the Sky Blues having lost four in that period doesn’t bode well for the club on the cusp of developing a hoodoo. However, Vidosic quashed suggestions of that record lingering over a squad that has undergone such a significant overhaul during the off-season.
Of the 16 names on the Wanderers’ team sheet when they last beat Sydney FC on January 11, 2014, just three remain at the club today. Brendon Santalab scored the winner from the bench that night while Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Mark Bridge both played full games. The club has since undergone a significant transformation not just in personnel but style of play and while the record books don’t bode well for the club, Vidosic says the players aren’t the least bit concerned with their form coming into Saturday night’s derby.
“I’ve only played the one and in that one I thought we were the better team that day. We were unfortunate conceding a goal so late,” Vidosic said. “I don’t think about any of that last two years without a win. Once the whistle blows on Saturday, all those those thoughts and statistics go out of the window….I don’t think these statistics are relevant at any point, even if it’s the team who is last playing the team playing first. On the field it’s eleven against eleven and sometimes it’s just how the ball can bounce.”
The excitement of Derby week was yet to creep into the Wanderers squad during their first training sessions since their 3-2 defeat to Melbourne City but the players are eager to make a statement having lost their last match to Sydney FC despite dominating the Sky Blues.
“It’s a special week, not just for the players but for the fans,” Vidosic said. “They want to say that we’re maybe a younger brother but we don’t look at it like that, we want to be the best and that’s our mentality, we want to run this town. Not just us but our fans especially.”