How Wanderers star found his goal-scoring groove

Mitch Nichols has credited his strong form so far this season to a more attacking role at Western Sydney Wanderers, with the 26-year-old thriving as a second striker in Tony Popovic's line-up.

Nichols is Western Sydney's leading goal-scorer after 14 rounds of the A-League's 2015-16 campaign, with the former Perth Glory midfielder having hit the back of the net seven times.

At Perth last season, Nichols failed to score.

"I'm just playing in a position that allows me to, you know, showcase what I can do and where I suit the best," he told Goal Australia.

"I can get in the box and support the striker and drop deep if I want to get the ball. So I'm really enjoying it and last year I probably played a lot deeper and didn't play in an attacking team."

Popovic has started Nichols in every match this term, with the latter lining up behind the centre-forward, although he concedes he is hardly a "ball-playing number 10".

That may account for Nichols having only produced one assist in red and black.

Nichols often drifts across the Wanderers' front line, looking to burst onto through-balls.

"I'm probably not a ball-playing number 10… I just play to my strengths and find space behind the [opposition] midfield and in front of their backs," Nichols said.

"I'm capable of running in behind and sensing in the situation where I need to be to help out the team."

The Wanderers will host cross-town rivals Sydney FC on Saturday night, with Western Sydney looking for their first derby victory in two years.

#SydneyDerby - Western Sydney Wanderers are undefeated in their last six home Hyundai A-League games.

The Sky Blues have won four of the past five Sydney derbies, including the first match-up this season, which Nichols played in.

"We definitely owe them one," Nichols said, when asked about that match in October where Milos Ninkovic scored an 88th-minute winner for Sydney.

Western Sydney are also keen to end a run that has seen them drop points in their past two matches.

A scoreless draw against Adelaide United was followed by a 3-2 loss at Melbourne City last week where Nichols and Co. finished with 12 shots on target to just seven from the home side.

"It's a strange feeling - playing so well and losing, you are happy in a sense," the attacking midfielder said.

"So if we continue to do the things that we do well and tighten up at the back, we're probably not going to lose too many games like that again."

Despite having suffered their first loss in 11 matches last week, Nichols insists Popovic's side is "full of confidence" in the lead-up to the Sydney derby.

With Popovic having rebuilt the Wanderers into an A-League contender this term, Nichols wants Western Sydney to regain the Harbour City's bragging rights for the first time since January 11, 2014.

"It's definitely time to right the wrong," he said.