Caceres & Smith: Wanderers Out To Use Sydney Derby As Springboard

Impetus’ Ben Gilby reports on Western Sydney Wanderers’ media conference today with Melissa Caceres and head coach Kat Smith as they prepare for Saturday’s big derby against Sydney FC (1/12/22).

Above: Western Sydney Wanderers’ Melissa Caceres speaks to the media ahead of the weekend’s big derby. Image: Sydney FC.

Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Melissa Caceres told the media today that she believes that a strong performance in this weekend’s big derby against Sydney FC could be the perfect foundation for a good season.

“Sydney FC have been quite dominant in the league for a while now, but it means a lot and we’re going out there to win and we really back ourselves. We’re out to redeem ourselves from last week (defeat to Newcastle Jets). We really want the win and it will be important going ahead for the season.”

Caceres, who scored the Wanderers’ opening goal in that 4-2 loss in Tamworth last weekend in their first game of the season, outlined the areas of the game where she believes Western Sydney can cause problems, saying: “(Last weekend we) utilised our pace up front and looked dangerous. We’ll look to tighten things up defensively and come out more aggressive.

Above: Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Kat Smith speaking today. Image: Western Sydney Wanderers.

Wanderers’ head coach Kat Smith spoke of her confidence in her player’s ability to stand up and match it with Sydney FC on Saturday in the big derby at Marconi Stadium.

“They’ve (Sydney FC) been in the top position for a long time in the league. There’s areas we feel we can exploit them. We’ve had a look at their performances. It’s going to be a tough battle, but I know the girls will be up for it.”

“There’s no doubt it’s a big game…for the players, for the staff, and for the club that we go out there and take the three points. It’s a game that can turn ugly, so it’s important that we find a way to fight and win.”

Kat Smith, Western Sydney Wanderers head coach.

Smith’s side go into the derby having only played once this season, after having the bye in Round One. Whilst Western Sydney Wanderers went down to defeat to Newcastle Jets, their head coach believes there is plenty for her side to build on once the squad gets used to the rigours of the A-League Women once more.

“The result was disappointing; it was disappointing to concede four goals and there are key points we’ve been concentrating on all week to tighten things up. Lots of positives going forward. The message is to shine through our strengths.

“It was good to see a number of players notch up some minutes throughout our squad. It hasn’t been spoken about a lot – knowing where the girls have been over the last 12 to six months on their footballing journeys and there is a process in place to get the players at their peak to perform.

“It’s been positive to see some of the combinations in the middle and front third. To see a couple of the players this week, Amy Harrison and Mel Caceres get into the Team of the Week.”

Whilst Wanderers may be underdogs going into the match if they can get the solidity back in defence that they had in the first half of last season to match an improved attacking prowess then there will be plenty for the Red and Black to shout about this weekend.

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