Babbel admits Wanderers are hindered by concentration lapses

Western Sydney Wanderers boss Markus Babbel admits his side’s tendency to concede soft goals is hampering their Hyundai A-League finals hopes.

After a strong start to the campaign, the Wanderers find themselves in eighth spot on the ladder after a run of just one win from eight games.

Babbel feels most of their issues have stemmed from their propensity to switch off and allow their opposition to score easy goals.

Only three clubs have conceded more goals than the Wanderers’ 18 so far in 2019/20, while they haven’t kept a clean sheet since Round 4.

"We concede too many easy goals," Babbel said ahead of Saturday’s clash against Wellington Phoenix.

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"It is too easy how they can score a goal and when I see how hard we have to work to create chances [it is frustrating].

“Of course, this is also a thing we have to be more concentrated on, more focused on the little detail to go into the challenge."

The Wanderers have particularly struggled from set pieces, with only Adelaide United and Melbourne City shipping more goals from dead-ball situations than Babbel’s troops.

And the Wanderes boss puts that problem down to one thing: concentration.

"We have to look at ourselves and, for me, it has nothing to do with the opposite side, it is about us," Babbel said.

"How can we bring the boys to be focused over a longer period? It’s all about we have quality, we have individual quality and if we bring this as a team together then we are strong.

Wanderers celebrate a goal

“All the time we have a result if we do it over a longer period.

"At the moment we played 10 minutes well and then 10 minutes not so well, so we have to follow our game plan longer,” he added.

“I don’t know why we aren’t doing it, but we have to come through with it.

"A lot of talk with the players, talk in front with all of them and, of course, the work on the pitch and they understand why we have so many meetings, why we show them so many videos, where their strengths and where their weakness is."

This will be Western Sydney’s second trip to New Zealand this season, having lost 2-1 to the Phoenix in Auckland back in Round 9.

They will be boosted by the return of Swiss midfielder Pirmin Schwegler after he missed the loss to Roar on New Years’ Day through suspension.

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Saturday, 11 January 2020
Kick-off: 4.45pm local, 2.45pm AEDT
Venue: Sky Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports