Home derby a selling point for Wanderers' Neville

Scott Neville is about to get what he came for when he joined Western Sydney Wanderers and he couldn't be happier about it.

Scott Neville

Source: Getty Images

The former Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets right-back told The World Game one of the main reasons he signed for Wanderers was to play in a Sydney derby in front of a full house at Pirtek Stadium.

Neville played in the first Sydney derby of the season at Allianz Stadium, and said it was an amazing experience in front of a crowd of 40,539.

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But now he was looking forward to experiencing the derby feel at Western Sydney's own home ground.

"I think we had more fans than they did at their home game and I can't wait to play in one at our ground with the fans totally behind us," Neville said. "It will be like when we played Melbourne Victory here, only better."

Neville played in F3 derbies for Newcastle against Central Coast Mariners, but the Sydney derby has clearly been on a scale well above that for crowd size and atmosphere.

"I used to watch the Sydney derbies on TV and when you come to a club like the Wanderers you do it in the knowledge that you're going to get to play in these types of games," Neville said. "It was one of the big attractions for me in joining - 100 per cent.

"All season we've played in blockbuster games on Saturday nights, and Christmas Eve, and New Year's Day. That's why you come to a club like this, to play in these big games.

"Everyone who watches these games on TV definitely envies them and wants to be out there, so it's a great opportunity for me. It's a great opportunity for all of us at the Wanderers."

Saturday night's edition will be the last derby played at Pirtek Stadium before it is closed down late this year to be rebuilt. Neville said it would it great to mark the occasion with a win.

"I'm not sure where we're going to be playing next season, but it will be a massive occasion this weekend," he said. "It's a big game for us anyway and it's going to be important to the fans who have come to our home ground from the start.

"If we can get the three points and really go off with a bang it would be one to remember."

Neville missed Western Sydney's controversial, 3-2 loss on the road against Melbourne City last weekend. He had to serve a one-match suspension after collecting the maximum five yellow cards, but he is set to be slotted straight back in against Sydney.

Wanderers had not conceded that many goals in a game since the first round of the season, when they lost 3-1 at home to Brisbane Roar, but Neville said coach Tony Popovic and the players had not dwelt on the result.

"We do a video analysis early in the week and then put that game to bed and move on to the next one," he said. "We just want to bounce back this week, put in a good performance against Sydney FC and get the three points.

"Conceding three goals is never good, but if you look at the whole game we were definitely unlucky not to win. But every defender and every team wants to keep clean sheets and that's very important to us.

"As a team, we work very hard defensively on keeping it tight and being hard to break down and when we're like that it gives us a strong base moving forward.

"We do  a lot of defensive work at training and a lot of specific back-four work and we've mostly had the same back four in games this season, which is a big help.

"If there's a lot of noise at a game, which there will obviously be on Saturday, we don't need to have to try to call to each other. We have a very good understanding. We pretty much know what's going on and how we're going to play it as a defensive unit."


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4 min read
Published 15 January 2016 at 1:36pm
By Greg Prichard