Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Carl Robinson says there's no better way for his side to put an end to a deflating run of form than by claiming a huge Sydney Derby scalp at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday 1 May 2021.
The Wanderers prepare to host local rivals Sydney FC after tumbling down the A-League table in Matchweek 18. Robinson's side lost 5-4 to Melbourne Victory on Friday, April 23 to drop into eighth place, with the possibility of sliding even further by the conclusion of the Matchweek should Brisbane Roar beat Central Coast Mariners on Wednesday night.
Without a win in six games, the Wanderers are bereft of confidence in both attack and defence heading into the second Sydney Derby of the 2020/21 campaign, with the first contest between the two sides ending in a 1-1 draw on January 16.
Looking ahead to Matchweek 19, Robinson says he's eager to see his players eradicate the elementary mistakes which resulted in the Wanderers' deflating loss to Victory last time out.
"It was a disappointing loss," Robinson said.
"If we don’t do our jobs correctly - especially in our defensive box - then we’re going to get caught out, which showed on Friday night.
"Three mistakes - elementary mistakes - cost us three points on the board, which is disappointing.
I’ve asked them for a reaction, we need a reaction and it’s a great game that we’ve got to look forward to, obviously against our local rivals, and I want a response."
"Every game is huge, every derby is even bigger," Robinson added.
"The significance of this derby might add an extra little spice, because we’re all sort of fighting for the same outcome, same goal.
"We know it’s a very, very important game for us. It’s an opportunity for us to correct the wrongs we did on Friday night.
"We’re under no illusions of what we need to do and where we need to get better, the boys are fully committed to that.
"Every derby game that you play it’s the little things that count: it’s that extra run, it’s the second balls, the tackles, it’s the headers.
"We’ve got to make sure we do that right, and then our football will take care of itself."
The Wanderers will be encouraged by the recent history between the two sides, having gone unbeaten in the past five Sydney Derbies (W2, D3). The last two meetings have both ended in draws, with the most recent Sky Blues victory coming in December, 2018.
A win on Saturday night would not only extend the Wanderers' recent unbeaten run over their local rivals to six games, but would end a six-game winless run in the 2020/21 season.
Beating Steve Corica's side would help Western Sydney back into the top six, but Robinson knows it won't come easy against a side he sees as the best in the competition.
"They are the best team, because they’ve won the title for the last two years," Robinson said.
"I think they’ve shown this year at times how good they are, but they’ve also been inconsistent - similar to most teams in this league.
"What we’ve got to do is focus on ourselves, what we can control is ourselves.
"Whoever is in the team, they have to prepare right - and they will.
"We’ll have our game plan to go out and win that game, but again I say every week... it doesn’t matter what we do in between both boxes, it’s what we do in the boxes.
"Maybe it’s a very, very boring victory that might be what we’re after rather than playing some really, really good football and losing games from elementary mistakes.
"We’ve got to piece it all together, and as I said there’s no better time to do it than in the derby game."