It’s not out of the ordinary for a teenage Australian to sign for a big European club. What is unusual is that two A-League clubs had Cristian Volpato in their youth systems and both came to the same conclusion: he wasn’t good enough.
Coach Carl Robinson says Western Sydney must embrace their finals-defining last four A-League games after a 5-1 loss to Perth put a dent in their top-six hopes.
The Wanderers had entered Sunday’s match off consecutive wins but saw Andy Keogh’s four-goal haul at HBF Park ruin their chance to solidify their place in the top six.
But Robinson urged his side, who now sit outside the finals spots on goal difference, to quickly move on to next week’s derby against third-placed Sydney FC.
“It certainly does (put a dent in our finals hopes). I don’t think I could sit here and say that it doesn’t affect it because we wanted to try and get three points here, never mind a point,” Robinson said.
“To get no points is disappointing, but it’s one game. We’ve got four big games, important games like all the other teams that have four or five, and we’ve got to pick up as many points as we can and it will be down to the wire.
“Make no doubt about it. Whether we would have got this result or anything from this game today, it would certainly go down to the wire.
“So you have to sometimes brush yourselves off, brush yourselves down and go again and we certainly will next week because we’ve got a great game next weekend as well.”
Things don’t get any easier after the Sydney clash, which kicks off a run of three games in eight days, including home games against fellow finals contenders Wellington and Brisbane.
The Wanderers will then close out the regular season with a trip to Adelaide.
“You’ve got to enjoy it (the challenging last four games), you’ve got to actually embrace it,” Robinson said.
“You can’t be scared of it. If you’re scared of it, you shouldn’t be in professional sports.
“It’s what the neutral fan wants. I think he would like to see every team involved barring one or two.”