Western Sydney Wanderers coach JP de Marigny has some areas to work on after his club made a scratchy return to A-League competition.
Playing for the first time in over four months, the ninth-placed Wanderers needed an 88th-minute equaliser from substitute Simon Cox to earn a 1-1 away draw against bottom-of-the-table Central Coast on Monday.
After a bright start, Wanderers lost their way and were on the verge of suffering a major hit to their finals aspirations before Cox’s header salvaged a point.
They stay in ninth spot, four points behind sixth-placed Adelaide with a game in hand.
Wanderers are only a point behind eighth-placed Newcastle with two games in hand, but are three points adrift of seventh-placed Western United, who have played one less match.
Western Sydney picked up 12 points from seven matches before the shutdown after de Marigny was installed as interim coach, but their performance in his first match since being given the position on a full time basis was patchy.
“We were in a very good position there, we had seven games and improving every week, the momentum was taken away from us,” de Marigny said.
“It was our first game back for four months and the good thing for me is the willingness not to lose the game.”
He identified some areas for improvement before they return to their Bankwest Stadium home on Friday to play second-placed Wellington.
“The circulation of the football can be a little bit better, we had 49 per cent of possession so it was pretty even that way,” de Marigny said.
“At times we could have been a little bit more ruthless in and around the box.
‘”Also in terms of transition, from having the ball to without the ball, we looked vulnerable at times in our organisation.
“We were excellent in that before the break. It’s something that we will be discussing.”