Next fortnight to define WSW season: Josep

Dec 31, 2017 - 2:30 AM Josep Gombau has laid out his plans for Western Sydney's new start in 2018, naming results as the top priority and the next fortnight as season-defining.

Gombau, already under immense pressure after six matches in charge, appears to have altered his approach on the eve of the Wanderers' home New Year's Day clash with Melbourne City.

The well-respected but opinion-dividing Spaniard's tenure thus far has centred around his insistence on implementing a very particular possession-based style unfamiliar to a group of players recruited to suit that of his predecessor Tony Popovic.

But last week's 4-0 embarrassment in Newcastle prompted a slight change in language, as he looked down the barrel of an onerous battle to haul his side out of second-last place.

"We have to get results, this is the most important," Gombau said.

"After that we will come back to confidence, and with our confidence we can make our plan to try to develop the style and be successful also this year.

"Because it's true that we don't get the results but the league is very close - if you win two or three games in a row you are fourth or fifth.

"The aim is to be in the finals and be competitive at the end of the year."

That starts on Monday at ANZ Stadium against City, who have slipped to fourth and are themselves dealing with some recent mixed results.

All eyes will again be on Gombau's ever-changing teamsheet, namely who out of Oriol Riera and Brendon Santalab start at No.9, whether Chris Herd will get a first game since round four and if captain Robbie Cornthwaite will sit on the bench a third time.

This is the last match before the club's three Olyroos - Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Keanu Baccus and Jaushua Sotirio - leave for international duty, and expected departures in January could further shake things up during a busy period of four games in 13 days.

Gombau chalked the Jets loss up as a symptom of his squad's mindset rather than his methods, and firmly believed they had had shown enough in training over a long 10-day turnaround to deliver him a second win.

"It should be our game," he said.

"The most important thing is the mentality, to start the new year with a win and change this run of results that we've had in the last month.

"These next four games will mark what the season will be for us.

"We are in a crucial moment of the season, and these games will say a lot of our team."


* The Wanderers remain undefeated when hosting Melbourne City (W5, D3)

* Brendon Santalab has scored four goals in his last three games against City, including a hat-trick when they met in March

* Ross McCormack has recorded 18 shots on target this season, the second-most of any player behind Sydney FC's Bobo (19)

Source: AAP

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