Wanderers not fazed by lack of matches

April 15, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Western Sydney will enter Sunday's A-League grand final having played only one match in over three weeks, but captain Michael Beauchamp is certain that won't be a problem.

The Wanderers meet Central Coast in the Allianz Stadium decider hoping to cap their remarkable inaugural season with a championship while the Mariners, playing in their fourth grand final in eight seasons, will also be vying for a maiden title.

However the Wanderers will have far less recent game-time under their belts as last Friday's 2-0 semi-final win over Brisbane was the only match they've played since March 29.

The Mariners are at the other extreme, having to also contest the Asian Champions League, for which they played two matches ahead of their semi-final against Melbourne Victory with another game two days before the grand final.

But having experienced an extended break before beating the Roar last week, Beauchamp feels the side won't lose momentum.

"Did that show on the weekend?" asked Beauchamp rhetorically on Tuesday.

"We had a couple of weeks off before and still played a great game against Brisbane.

"Our form is still there and the boss (coach Tony Popovic) won't let us slip or sit back on our heels. It won't be a problem at all.

"We've got plenty in the bank still. So we'll definitely be on our toes and ready for the battle on Sunday."

The Wanderers are still sweating on a few injury concerns with Jerome Polenz aggravating his quad injury during Friday's match while fellow defender Adam D'Apuzzo (foot) and key midfielder Aaron Mooy (knee) were sidelined.

"At this stage I think it's only Adam D'Apuzzo who still has a bit of a foot problem but everyone else seems fit," Beauchamp said.

"Aaron Mooy is much better and his hand will be up for selection come Sunday, so we're looking forward to that addition to the team."

Crafty winger Youssouf Hersi is suspended for the grand final after earning a red card in the semi.

Youngster Kwabena Appiah-Kubi, who has played in the position in Hersi's absence before, appears a likely replacement.

"Of course we'll be missing Youssouf, but that's done and we can't change the situation," Popovic said.

"So someone else will now get an opportunity and I'm certain whoever it is will do a great job and the grand final won't be daunting for that player."