‘Repeat performance? Don’t be stupid’: Babbel confident of improved Wanderers
They survived a massive scare in the last round of the FFA Cup and Markus Babbel insists his Western Sydney Wanderers side won’t repeat their shoddy performance against Bonnyrigg White Eagles on Wednesday night.
The Hyundai A-League side went within a whisker of being eliminated in the Round of 32 by part-timers Hellenic AC in Darwin, needing a stoppage-time goal to prevail 4-3.
It’s a far tougher prospect for the Wanderers on Wednesday, with NSW NPL outfit Bonnyrigg eyeing a Cup boilover at Marconi Stadium in a western Sydney derby.
Babbel has used the three weeks since the Hellenic scare to get some more valuable hard training into his squad.
And the addition of Caltex Socceroos right-back Josh Risdon, as well as imports Alex Baumjohann and Patrick Ziegler, should ensure the Wanderers will pack more of a punch.
"We are stupid if we are not learning from [the Hellenic] game," Babbel told reporters on Monday.
"We have 3 weeks more training in our legs. This game (against Hellenic) helped a lot for us. We did many mistakes and we come in trouble; even against a team that is not the best in the world but we were struggling.
"It shows if you're not doing things right on the training pitch...if we get nervous in a game like this, then you come in trouble.
“Against Hellenic we started well and then we got sloppy. This (game against Bonnyrigg) is for us a good test to see where we are now."
While Bonnyrigg endured a tough season in NSW – and were relegated from the NPL – they won’t die wondering against the Wanderers.
Having seen APIA Leichhardt eliminate Melbourne Victory Last week, there’s no reason why they can’t repeat the dose in front of what should be a big crowd at Marconi.
But the White Eagles won’t only have to deal with a Wanderers side that should be a little sharper, they’ll also have to stop the likes of ex-Bayern Munich and Schalke playmaker Baumjohann.
Babbel likes the creativity of the 31-year-old midfielder and revealed he’ll give the German his debut in Wanderers' colours.
"If he's [Baumjohann] playing well, he makes the difference," Babbel said.
"It's easier for the striker, for the wing players because he has the eye to play the right balls in the right situations.
"Then we will create many chances and hope we can score from these chances.
“We are prepared for this game. We watched some videos of them and they are a good side.
“We have to bring a good performance on the pitch…all respect to Bonnyrigg but if we do our job right, we’ll go to the next stage.”