The Western Sydney Wanderers recorded a much needed win last week, but will need to be at their absolute best when they come up against a red-hot Adelaide United this weekend.
The Wanderers returned to equal first on the ladder following a 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium.
A lone strike by Jaushua Sotirio early in the first half was enough to overcome the lowly Jets, who didn’t have much to offer until the final 10 minutes.
Wanderers captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley and experienced striker Mark Bridge both returned to the line-up after missing last week’s loss to the Brisbane Roar.
Speaking on Tuesday morning, Bridge said the win over Newcastle could prove very important down the track.
“They’re the wins that at the end of the season you look back on and can win you championships,” he said.
“It was a very good win, a very tough win and it puts us in a good position leading up to a big game this weekend.”
The narrow victory over Newcastle has proven to be a pivotal one for the Wanderers who are battling for top place with three other teams.
One of the contenders still in the hunt for the Premier’s Plate is Adelaide United, who the Wanderers will be up against this Saturday evening at Pirtek Stadium.
Bridge said the Wanderers will need to be at the top their game to prevail over the third-placed United.
“Everyone wants to finish as high as possible. We want it, we want it bad, but we know we can’t look too far ahead and get carried away,” he said.
“The top four is so close, if you lose a couple on the trot, it’s gone.
“Every game is important leading into the finals and everyone will be watching the top four closely in the coming weeks.”
The Wanderers and Adelaide have already met on two occasions this season with both games ending in a draw.
“Adelaide have been killing it the last couple of months,” he said.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.