Crowd or no crowd, interim Hyundai A-League head coach Jean-Paul de Marigny has only one thing on his mind - making sure the Wanderers faithful are a happy bunch and celebrating after the third Sydney Derby of the season at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night.
It will be a surreal experience for all involved with the game played behind-closed-doors, but de Marigny is confident his players will adapt to the challenge in what looms as one of the key games of the season for the Red & Black.
Asked what advice he will give to the players about the situation, de Marigny said it would be simple and to the point.
“It’s a Derby and it doesn’t matter if we are playing in front of zero people or 28,000, we understand our responsibility is to represent the region and the fans,” said de Marigny.
“We want to make sure the fans are happy after the game and that is a privileged position to be in and that’s our responsibility.
“We are professional people and we understand the circumstances and also understand what is on the line.
“The game starts and you are fully focused.”
The Red & Black are within touching distance of creating history with the possibility of becoming the first club in Sydney Derby history to register a clean sweep of wins.
Thanks to captain Mitchell Duke’s pair of headed goals, the Wanderers recorded 1-0 wins in the first two Derbies of the season to also hand competition leaders and defending champions Sydney FC their only two defeats of the season.
The significance of a hat-trick of wins over their arch rivals has not been loss on the Wanderers boss.
“I just said to the boys that what we have done, we have put ourselves in a position to create history and there’s nothing better than that and that is what it is all about,” said de Marigny.
“We have the game plan we want to implement and the players will be executing it to the best of their ability.
“We just did a preview on Sydney again and we know what we need to do.
“To be in a position like this is humbling.
“We need to do what we have been doing for the last six weeks ... in terms of being with the ball we need to be aggressive, we need to be positive, we need to be ruthless.”