Rudan praises United’s growth mentality as Mariners loom

Western United head coach Mark Rudan has praised his squad’s ability to learn and adapt to his principles of play.

Ahead of Sunday’s road trip to Gosford to face the Mariners, the Green and Black boss says his squad’s quality and mental strength is pleasing.

He pointed to the fact that many players in his squad have played in different leagues and conditions as well as varying formations and styles of play.

This, Rudan believes, is a positive as the side continues to evolve under his canny stewardship. 

“They’re buying in to what we want to do,” he told reporters on Friday.

“They still need to be coached, of course, but they are good experienced pros, and they take on messages really well and they’re quick learners.

“And they can rectify things very quickly when they see an angry coach on the sidelines," he said with a smile.

“What we believe we do with this group suits the players. And they enjoy playing football and we’re a ball-playing side,” he added.

“We’ve more possession than the opposition. We try to play all the time and they [the players] enjoy that.”

United dominated Newcastle Jets in the second half of last week’s 1-0 reversal in Geelong.

It has given Rudan confidence ahead of Sunday's clash in Gosford.

“We completely dominated the second half, had all the ball and all the chances.

“Sometimes lady luck needs to be on your side, and they did everything but score so you take the positives from that.

“We finished that game very strongly. I couldn’t fault them. We pressed high and our rest defence was good.

“You’re not going to win every game, but we certainly did our best to try and win that game.

“Our starts have to be better and we rectified that at half time," he conceded.

“But the positives far outweigh the negatives and they [the players] want to make up for last week.”

The Green and Black head to NSW for the first time this weekend to face a Mariners side still smarting from a loss to the Reds last week.

It’s never easy in Gosford, as Rudan was quick to stress.

“There are no easy sides in this competition. We respect all our opponents, but it’s about us and what we can do better. And that’s been the emphasis [this week].

“It’s a very tough competition.

“But I believe going away will do the world of good for us.”

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Western United's next home game is on Sunday, December 1 against Sydney FC at GMHBA Stadium. Kick-off is at 4.00 pm.

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