Risdon admits Wanderers owe fans a Derby victory

Defender Josh Risdon says it is about time Western Sydney Wanderers overturn their dreadful Sydney Derby record.

The Red and Black have won just one of their last 14 Derby matches in all competitions but have the chance to exact revenge in Saturday night's blockbuster clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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The Wanderers faithful have endured some bitter Derby nights in recent years, and the Caltex Socceroos right-back says it is time the players deliver local bragging rights back to their loyal supporters.

“Coming over last season [from Perth Glory], I’ve got to experience first-hand the rivalry and what this game does to the city. It’s an amazing tradition to be a part of,” Risdon said.

“The results probably haven’t gone our way but credit to our fans who come every time in numbers and are very loud.

“We probably owe those fans a win and I believe we can do that on Saturday.

“We’ve got massive fans who will come and follow us everywhere. They’ll be right behind us and I’m sure they will be there in big numbers on Saturday.”

Wanderers fans

Risdon admits Markus Babbel's side were far from their best in last Sunday's Round 1 opener against Perth Glory.

But the 26-year-old is relishing the chance to nail Western Sydney's Hyundai A-League credentials to the mast with a statement Derby triumph.

“We definitely are, despite what the critics say, a strong team this season,” he said.

“It wasn’t probably our best performance but proving that we could go to Perth and get a point on the road, not playing our best, I think that says a lot.

“There’s still lots to come from us. We’re improving every week and [there is] no better test than to come here on Saturday and to get the job done.”

No game means more

Meanwhile, Sydney FC defender Michael Zullo has underlined just how much a Derby victory means to his Sky Blues teammates.

The 30-year-old said the rivalry is rapidly becoming one of the most unique events on the Australian sporting calendar.

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for the players of the Wanderers but we’re also very aware that they’re our biggest rival,” he said.

“No game in the season, apart from the Grand Final or a finals match, means more to our team and to our fans, than beating the Wanderers.

“In an age where Australian sport is very sanitised, and very clean, I guess you could say, it's good to have a bona fide rivalry and a real sense of tribalism, I guess, between the two squads.

“It’s a great experience to be a part of as a player.”

Michael Zullo