How Markus Babbel must be delighted that Patrick Ziegler was finally able to make his Hyundai A-League debut for the club on Friday night.
One of Babbel’s key signings in the off-season, the German centre-back had missed the first six matches of the campaign with a knee injury.
But the 28-year-old’s return resulted in the Wanderers keeping just their second clean sheet of the season in the crucial 2-0 win over the Central Coast Mariners.
Ziegler had an immediate impact on those around him, with his composure, defensive nous and communication already making the Wanderers look a tougher nut to crack.
He made a game-high 17 clearances, to go with his seven duels won and one interception in his first 90 minutes in almost three months.
“Patrick is a player that if he’s on the pitch, others feel comfortable because he has quality,” Wanderers boss said of his compatriot on Fox Sports.
“It was hard for us with him two-and-a-half months out…we really missed him.
“It’s a big compliment to him because even though he was out for so long, he was excellent tonight.”
Ziegler wasn’t the only German import to shine for the Wanderers at Spotless Stadium.
At the other end of the pitch, playmaker Alexander Baumjohann continues to catch the eye with his classy displays.
Alexander Baumjohann on the charge against the Mariners.
Again on Friday night some of his passes were superb, while his ability to glide past defenders and find space in the attacking third is tough for opposition defences to cope with.
If the Wanderers can keep their two key imports fit and firing, they could have some exciting times ahead, starting with next weekend’s Sydney Derby against the Sky Blues.
“I’m very happy we won tonight. We’ve had such difficult games in the last weeks with bad luck against Newcastle and a very bad performance against Victory,” Baumjohann told Fox Sports.
“But when you win games you are much more confident. We’ll work hard in the next week and were very happy now to play in the derby.”