"Dino, Dino, Dino, Dino.” It’s the second most common thing you will hear at Western Sydney Wanderers game, behind the ubiquitous, “Who do we sing for?"
“Dino, Dino, Dino, Dino.” It-s the second most common thing you will hear at Western Sydney Wanderers game, behind the ubiquitous, “Who do we sing for?”
But it hasn-t always been a love story. There were times when the Croatian import was looked down upon by Wanderers fans, but he has been accepted for his work ethic and even loved by the fans at Wanderland as their very own cult hero.
Kresinger may not have scored all the goals he has wanted this season but he has made an impact and played the role that was asked of him, and his teammates, according to Mark Bridge, have reaped the benefits of his often times thankless work.
“He does a lot of work that the average fan doesn-t see, a lot of stuff he does, is very unnoticed,” Bridge says.
“He puts in a lot of hard work and every time he steps on the field, it-s him taking on two defenders, the two centre halves take him up and he is trying to occupy them as best he can.
“I think Dino would be the first to admit he hasn-t scored as many goals as he would have liked, but he scored a very important goal for us in the semi, and hopefully he can score another goal for us in the grand final.
Dino holds the ball up well, is physical and definitely helps me when he plays, I think the other attackers in Shinji and Youssouf would feel the same.”
Kresinger himself hasn-t said a lot to the media this season, but he reveals he has questioned himself during a season that has only yielded two goals. Kresinger, who twice led Croatian club Cibalia in scoring in the Croatian top flight, admits it was worrying.
“The role I play here - it-s a little bit different than I am used to playing, but I know what the coach expects of me and I have had to get used to that. But the team is winning and this is the reason why I was still happy without scoring goals,” Kresinger tells footballaustralia.com.au at Wanderers training.
“It-s important as a striker to score, obviously; when you play and you don-t score, you question yourself as to why, but when you score your confidence goes up, so this is a good week for me, my confidence is high and I am searching for more goals.”
A great week it may be but come Sunday it-s going to be a tough job for Western Sydney as they take on a Mariners outfit who are not only keen to erase the ghosts of grand finals past but also put an abrupt end to the Wanderers- fairytale.
Kresinger knows the Mariners will bring their best, meaning a low-scoring, physical game. He also says any other opponent would be preferable for the Wanderers.
“They are really good, after us they are the best in the league,” Kresinger says.
“All 11 play defence and it (defence) means a lot to them. I-d rather play against any other team, because we know they can beat us, they beat us at our field then we gave them some payback in Gosford and one draw. I think it won-t be an easy game and there won-t be a lot of goals, one goal can decide it.”
If that one goal is to decide it, the man most likely is Mark Bridge, the Wanderers- leading scorer has got a happy knack of scoring in grand finals and Kresinger believes his teammate is a player of high quality.
“We speak a lot about that (Bridge-s previous grand final heroics), he is a great player, he is really class as an assist man or scoring, he is in everything. I hope he will score again in the final, he has good luck in the big games, the confidence he has will be really good for us.”
That confidence in each other has carried the Wanderers a long way this season but Kresinger has been around football and big games long enough to know things don-t always go to plan and the unflappable striker had to smile when he gave his answer as to how the game would be won.
Although perhaps he was smiling at being reminded of the crowd chanting his name, something he feels good about, suggesting the red and black clad Wanderers fans will more than play their role at the weekend.
“I feel very good about the cheers,” Kresinger says. They give me confidence, they give confidence to the whole team, the fans are our twelfth player, it-s like they play with us on the field, but on the field composure will be key, mentally we have to be prepared and that is the main thing. I think we have shown when we have to win we can, we have that winning mentality and I know we can win on Sunday.”