Gombau wields axe with Wanderers cleanout
FRESH from winning at home for the first time in his tenure, Wanderers boss Josep Gombau has begun what is expected to be a substantial player clearout with the departures of Jumpei Kusukami and Jacob Melling.
A day after a victory over Melbourne City that striker Oriol Riera said came down to remembering how to be competitive again, Kusukami and Melling both left to take up opportunities elsewhere.
With the A-League transfer window opening on Wednesday, more players are expected to be told they don't fit Gombau's style, especially as some have clashed with the new coach already over his tactics.
Kusukami looked furious at being substituted in the win over City, having himself come off the bench, and it's expected he will return to the J-League.
Gombau claimed to see more evidence of his change of style bearing fruit against City, though Riera - scorer of the first goal and creator of the second - suggested the win was underpinned by more basic virtues.
"We changed many things, that the players and staff thought would be better and more successful for us," he said. "More compact, more intensity, more competitive in the fights and the one v one. That was the performance we put on the field, and the most important thing is to maintain this.
"It was not easy to play that game, but after losing the last game (4-0 to Newcastle) it was easy to put this on the field. The hardest part is to put it on the field in the games in the future.
"They were little changes that changed the game. In the past we have many mistakes that killed us. This performance was very good for all the team. It's good for January 1, to start the new year winning, for the club and the team.
"Maybe we lost out confidence a little bit in the last games, but here the performance was very good and this is the way to keep going."