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Wanderers coach says sorry for media no-show as his side puts the drama behind them to overcome Perth

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16th March, 2024

Western Sydney coach Marko Rudan has apologised for his media no-show, saying he should have done better in that moment despite dealing with some issues in his personal life.

Rudan decided not to front the media following his team’s record 7-0 A-League Men loss to Melbourne City on Tuesday night.

With questions about Rudan’s future the big talking point this week, the 48-year-old was the centre of attention on Saturday night as his team beat Perth Glory 2-1 on enemy territory.

After the match, Rudan spoke openly when answering tough questions about his future, whether he still had the support of the player group, and why he chose not to front the media on Tuesday night.

“I apologise for not fronting the media,” Rudan said.

“I understand that I’ve got a responsibility as the head coach of this football club. 

“But without going into too much, there’s been a bit going on with myself personally, in my personal life.


“And there’s probably things a little bit more important for me as far as I’m concerned. 

“But I should have been better in that moment.”

Although Rudan signed a three-year contract extension in January, the club’s recent three-match losing run and rumours of dressing room discontent sparked talk that he could receive the axe.

Marko Rudan Western Sydney Wanderers Perth Glory

The Wanderers celebrate a goal with coach Marko Rudan against Perth Glory. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

“Everybody wants a negative story. Everybody wants something bad for somebody else. No-one’s really happy and it just gives more fuel to the fire,” Rudan said.

“I think there’s been enough fuel given to this football club, and it’s important that we just move on from the external factors, and I was a big part of that after the Macarthur game and what unfolded thereafter.”

Rudan was handed a two-match ban for lashing out at referee Adam Kersey during a post-match rant following his team’s 4-3 loss to Macarthur on February 4.


Even more recently, Western Sydney’s active supporter group have threatened to boycott games after claiming their fans were unfairly treated by police in the 4-1 loss to Sydney on March 2.

Rudan said all the drama had taken a toll on the player group. 

“That’s a lot, and when you’ve got so many young players that are affected by that, (it’s tough),” Rudan said.

“We spoke about that as a playing group after the game in Melbourne.

“They opened up, thankfully, because the young generation don’t really tend to talk a lot or communicate a lot. 

“But we were able to get that out of them and they felt very vulnerable because of all the stuff that’s been going on in our football club, and that it’s clearly affected their performance as well.

“It’s my job to protect them from all that sort of stuff, especially knowing how they feel.”


Did Rudan still have the support of his players?

“I think the best way to answer that kind of talk was what you saw tonight, and particularly when we scored that second goal,” Rudan said in reference to the players coming over to him to celebrate Lachlan Brook’s 83rd-minute winner.

“They could have gone anyway (to celebrate). And they come over to the bench and we all stayed together.”

Rudan has been battling his own demons in recent times, but said his focus had quickly switched to picking up the spirits of his players.

“When you’re on your own, the demons start to appear in between your ears, and they can tell you all sorts of weird things,” Rudan said.

“But I’m quite fortunate I’ve been through enough setbacks as a player and as a coach and as a father, and that makes you stronger, so you’re able to deal with it a lot better. 


“The most important thing was the group and how we managed them the last three days, and it was all about releasing the pressure valve and making sure they enjoyed themselves. 

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“We went out when we got into Perth, all together for dinner and a few drinks and we just had a laugh.

“We just tried to ease them and keep them relaxed.”