Second chance pays off at Wanderers

Wanderers striker Mark Bridge believes it's a desire to prove people wrong which is behind Western Sydney's brilliant debut season.

They were players that were largely unwanted by other clubs in the Hyundai A-League and Mark Bridge believes it's that desire to prove people wrong which is behind Western Sydney's brilliant debut season.

With 10 games still to play the Wanderers appear certain to play finals football after they cemented themselves in fourth spot following Sunday's impressive 2-1 win over Brisbane.

Tony Popovic's side are a healthy eight points clear of next best side Melbourne Heart, who are the club's opponents at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night.

It's a remarkable achievement for the team to be performing so well given the way they were hastily assembled and made up of players discarded by other clubs.

The likes of Bridge, Michael Beauchamp, Ante Covic, Shannon Cole, Labinot Haliti and Tarek Elrich all joined the Wanderers after being shown the door at their respective clubs but have thrived under the guidance of Popovic.

"I personally had something to prove coming from Sydney FC where I still had a year to go on my contract," Bridge said.

"So you could say me and some of the other players all had something to prove and they are all good players as well.

"But there's a lot of players that have represented their country and some guy called Shinji Ono that came into the team as well.

"We've been working hard and I think for the moment we deserve what we're getting.

"I know I have been a lot more professional this year. I worked very hard in the pre-season and I am still working hard and being very disciplined.

"So I guess that is the thing that has changed and obviously it is paying off."

For a player who has been a part of two championship-winning sides, Bridge's form this season appears to have gone to a new level.

The 27-year-old's equaliser against the Roar took his tally for the season to five goals to be the leading goal-scorer for the club.

The Wanderers were criticised for their lack of goals earlier this season but Bridge was never concerned and knew the side would eventually get rewarded for their style of play.

"Our defence was good early on and everyone was talking about it but people started saying 'when are we going to score?' But we knew sooner or later it was going to happen," the former Sydney FC man said.

"If you work hard in life at anything, good things come. That is what happened and as long we keep working hard goals will come.

"As an attacker you always want to score and it doesn't matter against which teams but some are easier than others.

"I have been lucky up there (at Suncorp Stadium) this season and hopefully I can bang a few more in before it finishes."

Popovic has been trying to play down the growing hype around the club's title hopes but can understand the fans' excitement over their current form.

"Our fans can certainly start believing that we have a good chance of getting in the top six," the Wanderers boss said.

"With the format this year, it shows that if you are in the six that anyone has a chance of winning the league.

"We can possibly start dreaming about making the six, but there's still a long way to go."