‘He feels every moment’ – de Marigny hails ‘phenomenal’ captain Duke
After Mitchell Duke wrote his name into Western Sydney folklore by sinking bitter rivals Sydney FC for the second time this season, interim coach Jean-Paul de Marigny paid tribute to his 'phenomenal' Wanderers Captain.
Duke has delivered match-winning performances in back-to-back Sydney Derbies, scoring the decisive goal in the defending Champions’ only two defeats of what could still become a record-breaking season for Steve Corica's side.
The 29-year-old Socceroos international backed up his heroics from the 1-0 win at Bankwest Staduim in October with another moment of magic to inflict the Sky Blues’ first ever defeat at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium as the Red and Black claimed Harbour City bragging rights on enemy territory.
As usual, the local lad – born in the heart of Western Sydney – led the celebrations with the Wanderers fans on Friday night, and interim coach de Marigny heaped praise on how Duke flies the flag for the region.
“[Duke] is enjoying the environment, he’s the captain of the team, and his workload is phenomenal,” de Marigny said.
“His desire, he just represents the region, the fans and everyone who is involved at the football club.
“Mitch Duke has been born there, his family is still there and he feels every moment of it.
“He’s getting all of his rewards for all of his hard work and I’m so pleased for him and his family, as I am for all of the boys and their families.
“We can’t forget, beyond every player there are really special people behind them and I’m so happy for them.”
A red card for Daniel Georgievski, after a rash challenge on young Sydney FC substitute Marco Tilio, prompted tempers to boil over in the closing stages of a heated encounter and de Marigny put it down to a ’brain explosion’ from a passionate player.
“Danny is Danny, I’ve worked with Danny for many, many years,” de Marigny said.
“He was a young boy who I introduced in the first team before he went overseas.
“We bought him over to Victory. He’s a great competitor, he’s a winner, he’s a top pro.
“At times he tends to have a brain explosion – and that’s all it was.”
And the Wanderers interim coach revealed he encourages his players to take risks and play on the edge, even if his team has to bear the consequences.
“There’s certain things we’re doing as a group, and staying calm was a big thing for us, and understanding our responsibility,” de Marigny added.
“But I want to give them freedom to express themselves with and without the ball and if that’s the price we pay, I’m prepared to do that.
“I back the players all day, every day, and that’s something that we will discuss within.”
Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday, 6 March
Kick off: 7.30pm local, 8.30pm AEDT
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Saturday, 7 March
Kick off: 7.30pm AEDT