Derby disaster won't derail Gombau from WSW project

There were plenty of lessons for Western Sydney Wanderers after their 5-0 disastrous derby defeat to Sydney FC but the main one - according to head coach Josep Gombau - was not to lose focus of their project towards a new playing style.

The new Wanderers boss will not alter or waver from his long-term process to change the club's football philosophy in spite of the heavy defeat at the expense of their cross-city rivals, vowing to remain on the path he's set out upon.

The Spanish coach has identified several areas the team needs to improve upon, particularly defensively as they prepare to bounce back against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday night, but remains committed to his plans.

In a week where Gombau has come under significant criticism for the performance of the Wanderers in the derby, their recent run of form and his controversial team selections, he reinforced his new plans during training this week.

It will continue his focus on playing the ball out of defence, retaining possession, playing attacking football while always looking to surge forward despite encountering several hurdles along the way.

"We have a plan and work the way we want to build. Of course I never want a result like last Saturday, it's something that happened. We need to learn and I apologise to the fans, the fans don't deserve this," Gombau said.

"I am for sure that if we keep working and keep building ??? this is the way we need to work. We arrange things we need to improve in terms of teams. We won't change things in terms of style or system."

Gombau is understood not to be giving 20-year-old striker Lachlan Scott a second start of the season after thrusting the teenager into the starting line-up for the derby. The youngster endured a difficult night, scoring an own goal before being substituted early in the match and is likely to be dropped to the National Youth League team.

Tough to take: Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab in tears after their 5-0 derby defeat to Sydney FC.

Tough to take: Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab in tears after their 5-0 derby defeat to Sydney FC. Photo: AAP

Spanish marquee Oriol Riera is the man most likely to replace Scott, having overcome a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the derby last week, while Keanu Baccus could retain his place in the starting line-up after his shock inclusion last week.

"Oriol is back. Today he will be training and he will have a normal training session and after that we will see if he's starting," Gombau said. "He [Keanu] is an important player who is good for us and he's an important player because I like the way he plays."

The Wanderers coach didn't deny interest in signing players from his former club, Adelaide United, including a move for Australian international Tarek Elrich. The Reds received formal notice from Western Sydney in their interest for up to four players, including Elrich, who has a close bond with Gombau.

"Tarek is a player that of course I like a lot. But now it is not the moment to speak about this. He's a player who for me brings everything and we have a good relationship but now he's a contracted player with Adelaide," Gombau said. "There's a lot of speculation and we don't want to speak about this. At this moment we have 23 players and 23 spots are full."

Elrich was an inaugural player of Western Sydney but spent just one season with the club before moving to Adelaide where he became an Australian international and won an A-League title.

This story Derby disaster won't derail Gombau from WSW project first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.