In the days following the loss of the Bulls’ inspirational captain for the season, Macarthur FC coach Mile Sterjovski declared the pressure to win is all on the shoulders of Western Sydney Wanderers ahead of Saturday night’s clash between the two rivals in Parramatta.
With depleted attacking stocks caused by the injuries to Ulises Davila, Lachie Rose and Moudi Najjar, the Wanderers enter the clash as favourites, according to Sterjovski. It means the Bulls aren’t burdened by expectation on Saturday night, in stark contrast to the Wanderers who would be humiliated should they fail to take all three points against the injury-ravaged Macarthur.
“They are favourites for this match,” Sterjovski said. “The way I see it, all the pressure is on them to win the match. We can go in there being underdogs which will suit us fine. As I said, all the pressure is on them.”
The Bulls suffered a hammer blow during the week when captain Davila was diagnosed with a torn meniscus. He was forced to undergo surgery on Wednesday with a three-month lay-off ending his season prematurely.
“It’s a huge blow having him out for the whole season, he’s the heart and soul of our club,” Sterjovski said. “It’s disappointing but with that disappointment comes opportunity for others. We are looking for other players to step up.”
There’s no easy fix to the absence left by the talismanic Mexican, however Sterjovski believes the vacancy opens the door for some of the club’s talented youngsters to make a statement to fill the void of creativity in the Bulls’ line-up.
“DDS [Daniel De Silva] has played there in the past and Nooney [Craig Noone] has done a good job there as well,” Sterjovski said. “We have a few players who are able to do that role and whoever is performing in training and games will get that opportunity.”