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Rudan buoyed by belief at ALM Wanderers

Western Sydney boss Mark Rudan says he’s been shocked at the scale of the task he inherited at the Wanderers but has been impressed by the will of his team to turn things around.

A fortnight after replacing Carl Robinson, Rudan has one win from three A-League Men games with the Wanderers languishing in 11th spot on the ladder.

His side returns to action on Wednesday against Melbourne Victory and while results haven’t gone their way, Rudan says he can see progress in their performances.

“I’ve never walked into a job halfway through a season when you have to assess so many things,” he said.

“I’ve got my own checklist and I’ve observed a lot and it’s (a) huge (job) but the most important thing is that I feel the club wants to be led.

“They’re all buying in. People around you know and can sense when something is happening and they will only follow you if they believe in it.

“I’ve been taken aback by everyone at the club by their attitude. There’s a long way to go and it’s small steps right now.”

Rudan believes the scoreboard will eventually begin to work in the Wanderers’ favour with three of their four goals conceded in his tenure coming from set-pieces.

Part of that, he says, is giving players defined roles and a tactical blueprint to work from.

“I think the players are really enjoying the content of our sessions,” he said.

“Players were not really aware of their roles and responsibilities.

“I think we need to improve on set-pieces and the mentality of the group.

“There’s no dropping of the heads but it’s the reaction that I’m looking for, the mental fortitude and the strength in mentality even if we do make mistakes.

“I entered into a club with a lot of people down on confidence and belief and that’s not what I see the Wanderers as being about.”

Rudan will check on Jack Rodwell and Tomer Hemed (both thigh) who missed Friday’s loss to Melbourne City and trained on Tuesday.

“They’ve both been going OK,” he said.

“With so many games coming thick and fast I’ll decide on gameday, have a chat with the medical staff and players themselves and then we’ll make a decision.”

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