A-League finals still in WSW hands: Gombau

Ben McKay
AAP

Western Sydney coach Josep Gombau admits he has no idea why his A-League finals-chasing side capitulated against Melbourne City.

But he says the Wanderers still have a finals berth within their grasp despite the 3-0 loss.

Gombau's team arrived at AAMI Park with good form and with plenty to play for.

The Wanderers had lost just once - to champions Sydney FC - in the past two months and sat sixth, needing another good performance to keep their finals place on track.

But they didn't show up.

City, who hadn't won for six weeks, outplayed and outworked the red and black from first to final whistle.

Gombau appeared gobsmacked after the match.

"They won every single battle on the field. With the ball. Without the ball. Second balls. Everything," he said.

"Today wasn't a good game for us.

"We want to be in the finals but we have to change the mentality and work more hard."

He dismissed the idea that last week's bye might have hit the side's momentum.

"We had time to prepare the game and we worked ... I don't think it's an aspect that affected us," he said.

The Wanderers didn't put a shot on target until the last minute of regular time but Gombau nominated Oriel Riera's late first-half header - which looped onto the woodwork - as a turning point.

"Melbourne City had more chances but before we conceded we had a chance with the ball headed onto the crossbar," he said.

"Maybe it go in and change the game, no, because they concede a goal just before half time is something that is difficult."

The result puts Western Sydney (sixth, 30 points) back in the pack with finals-chasers Brisbane (seventh, 28) and Perth (eighth, 26) - with both playing on Sunday.

The Wanderers also face an intimidating trip to play Melbourne Victory next weekend but refused to be downbeat on the club's chances of making the top six.

"There are three more games. It's in our hands" he said.

"We have Brisbane that will come to play in our home (and) when it's still in your hands you need to be confident."