Western United Head Coach Mark Rudan has hinted that changes are coming ahead of Melbourne Victory’s visit to Kardinia Park on Sunday afternoon.
Defeated 2-0 by defending champions Sydney FC last week, United are in the midst of the longest losing run in their club’s very short history heading into the meeting with their cross-town foes – the malaise sitting at three games.
Rudan was only able to watch on against the Harboursiders as Adam Le Fondre twice capped off lethal Sydney moves forward that punished any moments of hesitation or absentmindedness in his side.
Following the game, Rudan declared that the coming recommencement of hostilities in the Westgate Derby would be as big as his players wanted it to be and put the onus on his side to respond to their losing run in a manner befitting their veteran status.
The response, however, appears to have been a pleasing one for the United gaffer.
“Pretty big,” Rudan said of how his players were feeling about the coming game. “They got together during the week and they self-reflected. Some good honest truths came out and they want to lift their standards.
“I can't fault their attitude and work ethic and they are certainly not under any illusion as to how big the game is tomorrow - everyone understands the enormity of this game.
“Everyone knows what happened the last time the two teams met as well. We need to get some scoreboard pressure on. With the ladder being as tight as it is after last night's result it makes it interesting.
“We are not panicking, but certainly we need to pick up points.”
While he insisted there would be no changes to his playing ethos to arrest United’s slide, Rudan admitted an upheaval in personnel was coming.
“It’s hard to say,” a coy Rudan said when pressed on his starting XI for Sunday. “There have been a couple of players throughout the week who haven't trained.
“They will be training today so, when we finish the training session today, I will have a clearer indication as to who will be fit.
“There has been an emphasis on the attacking third this week at training. We are working on positioning and making sure that we get certain players into areas of the box, and execution as well.
"The strikers normally work off confidence, so you don't want to talk to them too much. They know themselves what we are lacking at the moment.
:It’s just a matter of habit and making sure that we do the right things more often.
“Players want to play every game, but it’s my job to be pretty clear in understanding what our squad is and the makeup is - it’s always about the team.
“We are looking to do that tomorrow, we have trained with different personnel throughout the week, we are looking to change players.
“There will be changes.”