New Western Sydney coach Carl Robinson says Wanderers players must embrace a big-club mentality as they bid to return to the A-League's upper echelon.

The Wanderers haven't qualified for the finals for the past three seasons but have made no secret of their ambition, moving to snare former Jets boss Robinson from Newcastle last week.

"The football club's massive and there's two ways of looking at it," Robinson said as the Wanderers kicked off pre-season on Monday.

"You can say it's really big and be fearful of it - or you can say it's massive and want to be part of something that you want to change, move forward and get back to the success (the club) had previously.

"I look at it as a challenge, I want to embrace the challenge, I've challenged the players and I will challenge the players to embrace that challenge.

"Because whatever football club you go to, (players say) they want to be at big clubs.

"There's an opportunity for players that are at a big club to embrace that - so why be fearful of it?"

Robinson flagged a recruiting drive but said he would initially focus on "instilling confidence and belief" in the Wanderers' current squad and youth prospects.

The Welshman was confident he could overcome the Wanderers' loss of key personnel - with Mitch Duke (Al-Taawoun), Matt Jurman (Xanthi FC) and Pirmin Schwegler (retired) departing before he'd even arrived.

"The spine of your team is very important in any successful team," Robinson said.

"(They're) three key players, three experienced players who've done very well for the football club.

"So they're gooing to be three target areas that we need to address moving forward but in the meantime it gives the opportunity for some young players to step up.

"Dylan (McGowan) and (Keanu) Baccus and people like that - I need to actually grow (them) more now and I think they will, when they're challenged."


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