Western United coach Mark Rudan has put his squad on notice, saying they club needs a reset following their humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of Melbourne Victory.
The behind-closed-doors loss has officially extinguished any hope of his side playing finals in their second season in the league while also making it sixth straight defeat.
With two games to go, Rudan said there will be players fighting for their futures at the club after a difficult end to the season, while also apologising to the fans and members after their first loss to their Victorian rivals.
“There are players coming off contract, there are players on contract – everyone’s playing for their future,” Rudan said.
“You find out a lot about yourself … but everyone associated within the football club when you go through night’s like this.
“You only have to look deep into yourself and look yourself in the mirror and see if you really gave everything of yourself and do what you were supposed to do.
“Everybody has to have a good hard look in the mirror and it’s a big reset that’s required that’s for sure.
“I think one of the big things I learned during that two week spell when we had to travel all over the country, we have to be stronger mentally, better physically and we need a deeper squad.”
Rudan described the loss as a “hard pill to swallow”, saying his side was unable to keep up with Victory’s speed and tenacity throughout the contest.
“It’s a bad night for the football club,” Rudan said.
“Three weeks ago, we were in the mix and the wheels have just fallen off … it’s a big learning curve for myself first of all and everyone associated with the football club.
“We all need to have a hard-look at ourselves, we need a massive reset, I believe – we need to be better in many areas we all have to be and it starts with me.”
Melbourne Victory were much too good for Western on Friday night. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Meanwhile, it was an impressive display from the Melbourne Victory, who left their fans with something to cheer about after a dismal campaign.
Caretaker boss Steve Kean said the performance had been coming after a mildly improved run in the final stretch of games.
“Sometimes if you get a lead, there’s a bit of confidence that floats through the team,” Kean said.
“We’ve been creating plenty of late and not really grabbing them … but tonight we did and we limited the opposition to very few real clear cut chances.
“Overall, I thought we deserved the points and maybe another goal or two.”
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Victoria, Western United will head north to take on Macarthur in a rescheduled game at Leichhardt Oval on Monday while Victory end their season against Melbourne City on Sunday.
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