Swiss veterans Daniel Lopar and Pirmin Schwegler are making their presence felt as part of a rejuvenated Western Sydney side leading the A-League
Two experienced Swiss imports playing in key positions have shored up a previously leaky Western Sydney defence and helped the improved Wanderers lead the A-League after three rounds.
Goalkeeper Daniel Lopar pulled off a number of important saves in the 1-0 home win over Sydney on Saturday.
Swiss international Pirmin Schwegler, also had a prodigious game in a defensive midfield role.
"We have a goalkeeper who is saving us in many situations and also we have a top No.6 Pirmin in front of them," Wanderers coach Markus Babbel said.
Schwegler won 14 caps and went to the 2010 World Cup, though he didn't play a game in that tournament.
"He (Schwegler) is very important to us. He's a tactical genius,' Lopar said
Schwegler felt the Wanderers' mindset was a key factor in the game against Sydney, who had most of the possession and chances.
"They are so strong but we had a good mentality and sometimes mentality beats quality," Schwegler said.
Last season Wanderers routinely gifted opposing sides goals with dreadful errors, conceding an average of two a game and frequently dropped points by surrendering a lead late in matches.
But the new-look defence consisting of off season recruits Lopar, Dylan McGowan and Matt Jurman, and 18-year-old Daniel Wilmering, who made one appearance off the bench last season, have tightened things up considerably.
Classy German centre back Patrick Ziegler is finally available again after a long term injury..
Schwegler has developed a healthy respect for the A-League in a short space of time.
"It's so tough and so competitive and you have to be 100 per cent, if you are not you have no chance," Schwegler said.
While Lopar performed heroically on Saturday, he was beaten on one occasion by a Kosta Barbarouses header, but the VAR backed the referee's call the ball didn't fully cross the line.
"I was pretty sure but not 100 per cent," Lopar said.