'The wheels have fallen off' – Rudan believes Western United need 'massive reset' after crushing loss to Victory
Mark Rudan feels Western United must hit the restart button afters their slender hopes of a Finals Series push were vanquished by a ruthless Melbourne Victory side in a 6-1 thumping at AAMI Park on Friday.
Elvis Kamsoba scored a double and Jake Brimmer, Rudy Gestede, Ben Folami and Jacob Butterfield all got in on the act as the Green and Black self-destructed, conceding four goals in the space of 24 first-half minutes against their struggling state rivals.
Heading into their clash with Perth Glory 16 days ago, United were a single point off of the top six, but this crushing defeat – their sixth loss in a row – was the final nail in the coffin for Rudan’s Finals Series ambitions, following a fifth-placed finish and a Semi-Final appearance in the club's maiden campaign last season.
"I’m extremely disappointed. It’s a bad night for the football club. Three weeks ago we were in the mix [for the top six], and the wheels have just fallen off," the Western United coach said.
"And I’m not sure… it’s a big learning curve for myself first of all, and for everybody associated with the football club.
"I think we all need to have a good hard look at ourselves. There needs a massive reset, I believe, and we need to be better in many areas.
"We all have to improve and it starts with me, simple as that."
Alessandro Diamanti's penalty four minutes into first-half stoppage time, that made the score 4-1 to Victory, was only the Green and Black's second goal during their six match losing streak, while they have conceded 20 during that stretch.
Rudan highlighted the lack of tackles in the first half as one of United's biggest problems and that passive approach without the ball left him questioning the application of his side.
"You get to find a lot about yourself, not just myself but everybody associated with the football club when you go through nights like this," Rudan added.
"We prepared well all week, the boys were up for it, and ultimately at this level, you’ve got to be able to run, you’ve got to be able to tackle, you’ve got to be able to keep the ball. The simple things have to be there.
"You only have to look deep into yourself and look at yourself in the mirror and see if you really gave everything of yourself, and did you do what you were supposed to do. Did you play according to the game plan?
"It’s difficult. Everybody has to have a good hard look in the mirror and a big reset is required."
Victory’s first win in eight games was a long time coming according to interim coach Steve Kean, who urged his players to take their attitude into their final game of the season in the Melbourne Derby against Premiers City next week.
"We’ve put points on the board tonight, we probably could have put more over the last five or six games," Kean said.
"It’s important that we show the fruits of our labour, where we’re working hard. If we can give a good memory to the fans and members for next season, that’ll be great.
"There’s nothing better than playing against your closest rivals and trying to get a victory. We’ll certainly be doing that."
Western United v Macarthur FC
Monday, 31 May 2021
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEST
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
Sunday, 6 June 2021
Venue: Marvel Stadium
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEST
REPORT: Magnificent Mariners close in on Finals Series after comeback win over Bulls
ANNOUNCEMENT: A-League 2020/21 Fixture Update - Western United v Macarthur FC
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