Newly appointed Western Sydney Wanderers coach Carl Robinson has pledged to bring A-League Finals Series football back to Wanderland.
Wanderers announced the former Newcastle Jets and Vancouver Whitecaps coach as their new chief on Thursday, October 15.
The Red and Black pounced to snap up Robinson and his assistant Kenny Miller as replacements for the dismissed Jean-Paul de Marigny.
De Marigny was appointed as permanent head coach until the end of the 2020/21 season on Tuesday, 14 July but the club decided to move in a new direction just 90 days later.
“Once we realised Carl [Robinson] was potential option we moved quickly to bring him in as we have had only highly positive reports on him as a coach and as a leader of men,” Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said in a club statement.
“I need to get results, we haven't made Finals in the last three seasons which I know and we need that not to happen again,” Robinson told wswanderersfc.com.au.
SQUAD UPDATES: All of the players signed for A-League 2020/21 Season
ANNOUNCEMENT: Start date confirmed for the A-League and Westfield W-League
“I am joining a club which doesn't want to just make the top six, we want top four and top two. We want to win Championships and I like that pressure.
“Pressure is football. There's so much pressures in life in general, this is a pressure which you love having because I'm doing something that I love and I'll be accountable for it no problem,” added Robinson.
The Welshman reinvigorated a struggling Jets side in 2019/20 and pushed them to the brink of Finals football, winning seven and drawing three of 11 matches after taking charge in the Hunter.
But Robinson’s side could not recover from a slow start under Ernie Merrick and Newcastle ended up eighth, three points off the top six, despite being one of the form teams of the post-lockdown period.
Wanderers finished a point behind the Jets after carrying a four-point advantage over their New South Wales rivals heading into the restart and Robinson admits he now intends to shake things up in the Harbour City's western suburbs.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work with all the players here we have, and getting my mind and my eyes on the Academy because there are so many players that have not been seen or not been given a pathway to play – that happens in football – but part of my remit is to give them opportunities to play,” Robinson said.
‘My job is to unblock pathways for these young players’
The 44-year-old famously handed Bayern Munich's Canadian star Alphonso Davies his senior debut during his time in Major League Soccer and he has promised to give emerging Wanderers youngsters a chance to prove themselves in his squad.
“When you have an Academy that has the amount of talented players like we do here, I'd be very naive as a manager of this football club to not look internally. I have to do that,” Robinson said.
“First of all the objective is to win, what I don't want to do is block pathways. My job is to unblock pathways for these young players and that takes time, decision-making, me having the ability to watch these players.
“There's no point having two senior players in the one position, because experienced players the last thing they want is a young energetic lad chasing their position.
“My history suggests that I will play young players and I'm not afraid to throw them in. But the management side of me deals with the senior player and how I have to deal with keeping him on board.
“Will there be young players being looked at and given the opportunity? 100%. Is it a big focus? Yes it is. But they will only be pushed up when they are ready.”