'So painful for me': Babbel reacts to derby defeat
Western Sydney Wanderers boss Markus Babbel was angry with his side’s defending as Sydney FC claimed bragging rights in the Sydney Derby at ANZ Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Sky Blues beat the Wanderers 3-1 but trailed after Oriol Riera gave Babbel’s men a deserved first-half lead.
The game swung on Vedran Janjetovic’s red card for handball outside the penalty area, though, and Sydney levelled on the stroke of half-time through Alex Brosque.
That made life tough for Western Sydney but Babbel was still furious that both of Sydney’s second-half goals, scored by Siem De Jong and Jacob Tratt, came from set-pieces.
“I’m very angry today,” Babbel said afterwards.
“We did too many mistakes - even after the 1-1, we concede in the second half [from] two set-pieces. For me, not acceptable. Sorry.
“If someone is shooting from 25 metres in top corner, okay, I have to accept this.
“But two set-pieces … we are not hungry in this moment. We don’t see the danger in this moment.
“And then we don’t have to be surprised if we lose this game.”
Babbel urged his players to improve their mentality and fight for every ball, otherwise they were “no chance” of winning anything.
“Until the red card, I think it was working and after this, yeah, it’s a fight,” he added.
“All the time, if it’s going to a fight, we are not winning. So we have to learn this.
“But we don’t have to talk about the future, about targets, so if we [are] not changing this, you never will win something, no chance, so we have to change, in this moment, our mentality.
“Two set-pieces - this is so painful for me because you can defend this. Very, very, very hard to accept.”
Babbel also defended his decision to take playmaker Alexander Baumjohann off after Janjetovic’s dismissal, insisting that he felt “really, really sad” for the German, but that defensive work “is not his biggest strength”.
Baumjohann was clearly aggrieved after being substituted.
Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica said he was happy with the way his side kept composed as they tried to break a stubborn Wanderers side down.
“In the end, it was a good performance by our boys,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s difficult as well, when they go a man down, to break them down.
“They stay very compact and you’ve got to find a way to do that. We had a lot of ball and in the end we broke them down and got the goals that we needed.
“The first goal was very important I thought, getting back to 1-1 and once we did that, I thought, from then on, I think we were quite comfortable.”