IS it possible that the Wanderers have succumbed to that insidious enemy of all successful sports people — complacency?
They were all over the visitors from across the ditch, the Wellington Phoenix, on Sunday at Parramatta Stadium, also now known as Pirtek Stadium.
To all and sundry, all 16,214 of them, the end result looked obvious: a thrashing for the New Zealanders.
But after grabbing a 1-0 lead in the 15th minutes, the Wanderers did look complacent to the objective observer. Passes started going astray and there was an obvious lack of purpose from the red and black team. So it came to pass that they paid the price for this complacency, allowing the Phoenix to grab an equaliser on the hour mark, and the match ending as a 1-1 draw.
Which means the Wanderers will this Saturday make the journey down Parramatta Road to Alliance Stadium for the Sydney derby with a headache they have not had to deal with before in their short existence.
After the Phoenix match, coach Tony Popovic said his side's failure to "kill off the game" was the prime reason they could only manage a 1-1 draw.
But "kill off the game" was probably code for complacency, as the coach indeed went on to say he was also displeased with what he perceived as complacency after they hit the lead.
"We dropped off a little bit. We felt at 1-0 up it would just happen, which is not really like us," he said. "Only when they scored, we seemed to go again, which is disappointing. We've got to find the balance and get the balance right. We saw at the start of the game what we can do. It's now about making sure we can do that for longer periods," Popovic said.
Which is another sign what a good coach the western Sydney franchise landed last year in Tony Popovic. He's got just a few days to work the complacency out of his team in time to face Sydney FC who, having been beaten 4-0 by the Roar in Brisbane.