The Western Sydney Wanderers shrugged off a week of distraction to claim a 2-1 win over the Perth Glory in the opening round of the A-League at Spotless Stadium.
Although the message was nothing has changed following Tony Popovic’s sudden departure a week ago, it was actually the first time the Wanderers had won a round one match.
Interim coach Hayden Foxe said he thought the Wanderers were “outstanding”.
"We were playing with so much energy and fluency - it was a real Wanderers performance," Foxe said.
"We showed a real resilience as a team, really hard to beat from front to back as a whole. That's been a real feature from pre-season."
The Wanderers switched up their play in the off-season, reportedly looking to play more like Barcelona.
It was clear from the opening whistle this was a different Wanderers in 2017.
Marquee signings Oriol Riera and Alvaro Cejudo combined to make life difficult for the Glory, threatening throughout the match.
In the 43rd minute of the match, the pair combined with Cejudo breaking through the middle before passing to Riera to slot the goal past Glory goalie Liam Reddy.
The Wanderers doubled up minutes later with Jumpei Kusukami finishing off a counter-attacking move to give the side a 2-0 lead at the half-time break.
Western Sydney continued to pepper chances but couldn’t find the killer blow. It took an own goal deflection from Brendan Hamill in the 82nd minute to get the Glory on the board and flatter the visitors.
Foxe was pleased with the resilience the side showed across the park.
“It was a real Wanderers performance,” Foxe said.
“There were five players that were left out of the match day squad, everyone’s fit and fighting for positions but they all played their part and the will this year.”
The Wanderers play the Central Coast Mariners in round two of the A-League at Spotless Stadium on Saturday. Kick-off at 5.35pm.