Wanderers defender attacks talk of unrest in ranks
FOOTBALL: The Wanderers aren't revolting they're just playing badly.
That's the word from defender Josh Risdon who has dismissed suggestions there is dissension in the Wanderers' playing ranks as pressure continues to mount on coach Josep Gombau.
The Wanderers have just one win from six outings under their new boss and were handed another shellacking (4-0) at the hands of Newcastle. It was a result which prompted the immediate resignation of assistant coach Hayden Foxe who had worked as a caretaker after the departure of Tony Popovic.
Gombau has been developing a more attacking style than his predecessor, Popovic, but with very little success with the Wanderers having scored just three goals in their past six outings and conceded 14.
He has also been challenging his playing group - including captain Robbie Cornthwaite who has been benched in their last two matches.
A loss against Melbourne City at ANZ Stadium Monday night would turn the screws even tighter on the former Adelaide United coach.
"No (the talk of player unrest) it isn't true,” Risdon said."Everyone is working towards the same goal. Things aren't going well so there are going to be rumours but we all want the same thing and that's to get out of the form slump we're in. Everyone is together and that's the most important thing.”
While the timing of Popovic's departure has presented a big challenge for coach and players Risdon said the excuse is wearing thin.
"We need to move on,” Risdon said. "The timing of the change of coaches wasn't ideal but that's something that happens in football. We've had two months under Josep and it's been tough but we had a couple of good games including the win over Central Coast.
"Things can change very quickly if we can get another good win. We've got some games in quick succession in the year so if we can get a bit of momentum the league is that close we can easily creep up the table.”
Just how united the Wanderers are will be there for all to see at ANZ Stadium on New Year's Day against City.
"We need to do the simple things well, we're adapting a new system and a new style which will take a while,” Risdon said.
"The effort was perhaps lacking against Newcastle and in previous matches and we need to lift that and fight out games. If we can grind out some results in the coming matches our playing style will help us towards the end of the season.”
The challenge of changing style mid-season has also been amplified by the fact the Wanderers have known only one coach in the club's short history.
They have also had an enormous amount of success in that short time which has created high expectations.
"The fans are very loyal and pour their hearts out every week,” Risdon said.
"We want them to stick because we know we can turn things around and that's not too far away. If we can get some momentum in the new year we've definitely got the squad. It's a big club so the expectation is high.”