Aspro behind Gombau but calls for reaction

Dec 29, 2017 - 5:40 AM Western Sydney defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis has thrown his weight behind embattled coach Josep Gombau, having seen first hand the fruits of his philosophy at the Olyroos.

Fresh off last week's 4-0 flogging in Newcastle, Aspropotamitis issued another plea for patience, adamant Gombau is the right man to steer the Wanderers into a new golden era.

But the 21-year-old also believes the passion with which the squad reacts against Melbourne City on New Year's Day will be the most accurate indicator of their collective character.

Gombau's tenure at the A-League club thus far reads one win, four losses and one draw, with three goals scored and 14 conceded.

The latest, against the Jets, brought the immediate resignation of assistant coach Hayden Foxe and a crescendo of criticism.

Club management has backed the Spaniard but his playing style has divided the dressing room to such an extent some players may seek releases in January.

But Aspropotamitis is "behind (Gombau) 100 per cent".

"I had him at the Olyroos and we were really successful there," he told AAP.

"I know we can get results using his style of play, this very expansive and attacking football he wants.

"I've seen it first hand so I believe in his way of thinking and playing.

"All the things we're trying to do now we did in the Olyroos, and it paid off really successfully.

"From that standpoint I know results can come playing this way, it just takes a bit of time."

Aspropotamitis said Gombau has been "really insistent" about pressing high and playing out from the back, and felt rewards were being reaped in training.

He likened the Wanderers' situation to that of Manchester City last English Premier League season, when the squad took time to click under Pep Guardiola but sit 15 points clear at the top this season.

That was, he admitted, an extreme case, and stressed the transition period was "no excuse for our results".

"We're a club that needs to be at the top and wants to win," he said.

"There are always going to be critics, and that's a part of sport ... we're stressing patience right now."

Aspropotamitis will play his final A-League game against City on Monday night before joining Ante Milicic's Olyroos for the Under-23 Asian Championship.

He could be away for up to five matches and was eager for a breakthrough before leaving for China.

"After last week a lot of people, especially the fans, want to see a response," Aspropotamitis said.

"And rightly so because last week the result wasn't good enough and we know that. We've admitted that.

"Now it's about reaction. Mistakes happen during a game but for me it's how you react.

"That will show the measure of who we are as people. Anything less than showing a bit of effort and desire won't be acceptable."

Source: AAP

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