Babbel cannot hide frustrations as Wanderers fall short against Phoenix

Frustration is building as fortune fails to favour Western Sydney Wanderers, according to Markus Babbel.

The Wanderers coach released his frustrations as his side was consigned to a fourth straight Hyundai A-League defeat on Saturday evening in Auckland.

The ‘Nix secured a late 2-1 win over the Wanderers on the back of a Ulises Davila penalty that was awarded for handball following a VAR review.

The Wanderers left the match empty-handed after failing to capitalise on their early dominance – firing nine shots at goal in the first half – and ultimately succumbed to the ‘Nix's second-half turnaround.

However, Babbel sought to focus on the penalty decision and the frustrations of his side as they struggle to recapture their early season form.

“We have to understand that we play not against 11 but against 12 – this is a trend now,” Babbel said.

“I really feel sad for the boys but it is like it is and we have to work harder.”

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While conceding the decision was correct to the letter of the law, Babbel questioned why an earlier penalty shout against Phoenix captain Stephen Taylor – also for handball – went against his side.

“Why can’t we get a penalty but the opposite side get one? There is frustration there,” he added.

Fox Sports pundit Mark Bosnich, however, cited the Wanderers failure to convert their earlier chances as a more telling reason they will return from New Zealand empty-handed.

“I think the change of going three to the back didn’t quite work perhaps the way that Markus Babbel and (assistant coach) JP (Jean-Paul de Marigny) wanted it to,” Bosnich explained.

“But overall that game was lost, in my opinion, by the Wanderers in the first half where they had chance after chance after chance.”

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Bosnich did acknowledge the Wanderers recent run with penalty decisions as their fans seek answers to their slide from early-season high-flyers to mid-table maybes.

“In the last three weeks for the Wanderers it must seem as though somebody has something against them,” he said.

“They had a penalty given against Melbourne City (a fortnight ago) that cost them and last week they had a penalty that they didn’t get.”

Former Hyundai A-League Premiership winning coach John Kosmina concurred that fortune has not been favouring the Wanderers of late.

“They have had a bit of bad luck,” he agreed.


Wellington Phoenix travel to play Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park in Round 10. The match on Saturday, 14 December kicks off at 5pm AEDT. Get your tickets here.
Find out more at the Match Centre here

Western Sydney Wanderers are travel west to face Perth Glory on Saturday, 14 December. The Round 10 clash, at HBF Park, kicks-off at 5.45pm local, 8.45pm AEDT. Get your tickets here
Find out more at the Match Centre here

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