Western Sydney Wanderers coach Mark Rudan feels “nothing” for Western United as he prepares to take on his former club on Saturday night.
Rudan’s two-year tenure at United ended disastrously, with the Victorian club losing eight successive matches in a horror end to its 2020-21 A-League season.
Predictably, Rudan and United parted ways in tense circumstances soon after.
Now back in the A-League after being appointed Wanderers coach last Monday following the sacking of Carl Robinson, Rudan has an early chance to lower United’s colours at CommBank Stadium.
However, he insists he has no extra incentive to beat United.
“Nothing at all,” Rudan said what he felt about the team now coached by John Aloisi.
“My focus and dedication is completely with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
“There’s no time for thinking about what has been because they’ve got a new coach and I’m a new coach at a new club.”
Rudan admitted he could improve in “certain management situations”, but said that he had “upskilled” during his time away from the A-League.
As is so often the case when a new coach takes over at a club, Wanderers had immediate success under Rudan with a 1-0 home midweek home win over Perth Glory.
Aloisi, who was an interested spectator at CommBank Stadium for Rudan’s first game in charge of the Wanderers, said United was prepared for a better Wanderers under Rudan.
“Whenever a new coach comes in there’s a bit of a lift from the playing group,” Aloisi said.
“They work a little bit harder than they have previously under a different coach. They had that against Perth and I expect the same against us.”
Aloisi said United’s players, several of who played under Rudan, would not have any extra motivation to get the better of their former coach, regardless of the relationship they had with him.
“The players obviously know Mark really well. Some players would have liked the way he coached and some players might not have liked the way he coached,” United’s mentor said.
“That happens in football. You can’t let that interfere in what you’re trying to do and that’s play your game, and stick to your game plan.”
Aloisi’s men are backing up from a 2-2 draw with Macarthur FC at Campbelltown Stadium last Tuesday night.
United led 2-0 before a late Macarthur fightback earnt the hosts a point.
“We’re disappointed. We felt we could have defended the lead better but … all in all, it was a good performance from us,” Aloisi said.