“We can’t defend”: Babbel’s frank admission after Wanderers' collapse against City
Markus Babbel declared his team “can’t defend” after they conceded another two late goals against Melbourne City to slump to a club-record sixth straight defeat in a drama-filled Hyundai A-League clash on Tuesday night.
Down to 10-men but leading 3-2 with just over six minutes left, the Wanderers let in two late goals – including a 94th-minute header from Bart Schenkeveld to go down 4-3.
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The late collapse continues a worrying recent trend for the Wanderers, whose 2018/19 Season is fast fading away.
In Round 11, Babbel’s men conceded in the 86th minute to lose 2-1 to Melbourne Victory, while the next round it was two goals in the last eight minutes to be defeated 3-2 by Wellington Phoenix.
It was a similar story in Round 13 as Perth Glory scored three goals in the last 11 minutes to beat the Wanderers 4-3, a scoreline City repeated with their late double-strike at AAMI Park.
“We can’t defend, it’s very simple,” a dejected Babbel told Fox Sports.
“If you watch all the games where we concede, it’s too easy. And then it’s not a big surprise if you lose.
“When you concede four goals it’s difficult. We scored three goals, we had great opportunities to finish the game but we couldn’t score…and we lose.”
Summing up the Wanderers’ plight was the fact they went behind against City after just 31 seconds after a misplaced pass from Keanu Baccus allowed Ritchie De Laet to pounce.
“I know my team, this is not a big surprise…we do unbelievable mistakes,” Babbel conceded.
“The opposition is too good, and they score. We can talk about it being bad luck or is it a quality thing? I would say it’s a quality thing.”
To the Wanderers’ credit, they did fight back after that early setback to actually lead 3-2 early in the second half, before Baccus’ silly send-off on 66 minutes turned the game.
Despite admitting the red card turned the game, Babbel refused to be too critical of Baccus’, who has been one of the Wanderers’ best this season.
But the hard facts are the Wanderers are almost certain to miss out on the finals for a second straight season and are enduring the worst run of Hyundai A-League form in the club’s history.
While the emergence of some impressive youngsters like Tass Mourdoukoutas – who scored his first Hyundai A-League goal against City – Tate Russell, Nick Suman, Mark Tokich and Abraham Majok – will encourage Wanderers fans, what they really want are wins.
This Friday night against fellow strugglers Brisbane Roar would be the ideal time to start.