Rudan blames himself for Western United's derby collapse

Western United coach Mark Rudan will shoulder some of the blame for his side's 2-1 slip up to Melbourne City in Saturday's AAMI Park derby.

United took a 22nd minute lead through Ivan Vujica's towering header before Craig Noone's expert strike hauled City level.

Rudan's side dominated proceedings early in the second half but the derby momentum swung back in City's favour after the arrival of City substitutes Marco Tilio and Stefan Colacovski.

Tilio drew a fine stop from Filip Kurto before Colacovski teed up the 84th minute match-winner for Jamie Maclaren.

Rudan rued his failure to counter the changes made by counterpart Patrick Kisnorbo.

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"We started to tire, and I blame myself. I should've been a bit more proactive. My gut told me to make some changes at that time," he said.

"Didn't do it, and we got punished for it. 

"I think my heart overruled my head and gut. Because my head and gut said 'you've got to change something here'. 

"I trust my players. Upon reflection, it's a learning curve for me and I'll probably go with my gut next time and put my foot down and make that decision instead of being too loyal to certain players."

He added: "We were exceptional for 65 minutes, completely dominated the game. 

"Moments change games and we certainly had the moment to go two-nil up when Diamanti chips the ball to the back post and Tomi Uskok should've put that away. The game changes."

The result means Western United have lost all five of their A-League fixtures with City since entering the competition last campaign. 

City boss Kisnorbo hailed the impact of the club's youth players following the match-turning cameos of Tilio and Colacovski. The latter has been under Kisnorbo's tutelage in the club's academy for the last five years.

"All these kids are developing really well and I'm delighted for them," he said.

"Cola is a special one. We've worked together for a while. It's a special thing when you see a player come on in a senior game when you know you've had him since 15."

Next matches

Western United v Perth Glory
Matchweek 5
Saturday, 23 January 2021
Venue: GMHBA Stadium
Kick off: 5.05pm AEDT
Match Centre 

Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners
Matchweek 6
Wednesday, 3 February 2021
Venue: AAMI Park
Kick off: 7.00pm AEDT
Match Centre

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