Western Sydney Wanderers skipper Robbie Cornthwaite has hailed his side's strong fitness ahead of their first competitive match of the season in the Westfield FFA Cup tonight, though they'll be missing a trio of new signings.
And the Wanderers captain is confident of a result against fellow Hyundai A-League side Wellington Phoenix in the Cup tonight in Campbelltown.
“We showed a few weeks ago against Arsenal that our fitness was quite good,” said Cornthwaite.
“We've had a couple more weeks to work on our fitness and style of play.
“We're definitely ready and the boys are confident,” he said.
NEW FACES READY TO FIRE
It's a new-look Wanderers squad with no fewer than ten players joining the club since the end of the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League season.
“It's part of the responsibility of the new boys to adapt as quickly as possible,” said Cornthwaite.
“We've had a couple of friendly games which have been quite positive.
“It does take time but hopefully [tonight] we can bear the fruit of that hard work.
“As the weeks roll by, we'll hopefully get better and better.
A WORK IN PROGRESS AT WANDERLAND
New Spanish marquee Alvaro Cejudo won't play in tonight's match, with Josh Risdon and Mark Bridge also ruled out.
Coach Tony Popovic has confirmed the rest of his squad is fit and ready to play.
But he's warned none of the Hyundai A-League sides will be running at 100 percent.
“We're all the same, the A-League sides,” he said.
“You're building, you're trying to put your team together and the way you want to play.
“For every team, where they're at, at the beginning of August compared to October is a big difference.
“Some teams will be more advanced than others but when you go out on the field it's a cup game with two A-League teams up against other.
“You have to perform to win and hopefully we'll be that bit better than Wellington and we can get through to the next round,” said Popovic.
*There will be a moments silence prior to kick-off at all four Round of 32 matches tonight night and again tomorrow night in memory of Australian football icon Les Murray who passed away yesterday. The players will also wear black armbands as a sign of respect.