Wanderers star Bridge warns rivals of a six-goal rout

Western Sydney's in-form striker Mark Bridge dished out a chilling warning to all A-League teams that the Wanderers are close to inflicting a six-goal hiding on someone after he played a key role in a 4-3 win over Melbourne City.


Mark Bridge tormented City all night Source: Getty Images

Bridge scored twice in the match of the season to help the Wanderers consolidate their lead on the ladder.

Playing in a central striker's role, Bridge continued his superb form in his 101st match for the club and was a constant threat to the City defence.

Bridge, who has won the AFC Champions League with the Wanderers and the A-League with Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC, said later the team's new attacking formula had brought the best out of his repertoire.

"Our new style suits me," Bridge, 30, said.

"We have quality midfielders and Mitch (Nichols) behind me makes my job easier.

"We are playing extremely well and the most important thing now is to stay injury-free.

"We are getting in the right spots and it's a matter of putting all the chances away. One day someone is going to cop five or six goals."

Bridge's role as a central striker against City worked a treat. He caught the eye with his movement on and off the ball and apart from scoring twice - with a sumptuous finish and a lunging tap-in - he even found time to play an assist for Nichols's opening goal.

"I never expected to be playing at the point at the start of the season," he said.

"I knew we were looking for a marquee for that position but the circumstances are the way they are and I'm playing there at the moment and things are going well.

"It's a matter of being in the right place and at the right time.

"Everyone is collectively working well and working hard every day.

"It is a good sign and coming to the tail end of the season we don't have any serious injuries so it is very positive at the moment."

Bridge is having his finest season in the A-League but he said he was unsure if this were the case.

"It's looking that way at the moment," he said when it was suggested to him that it is his best.

"I think as a whole I think it is. In defence and in attack I think I'm solid. I feel stronger than ever."

The Wanderers' marquee striker Federico Piovaccari is on the outer after a disappointing spell in his first season in Australia and this has prompted the club to look for a quality centre-forward.

But with the transfer window closing in two days, the chances of acquiring a foreign striker capable of putting the ball away consistently are fading fast.

It was put to Wanderers coach Tony Popovic that in experienced Bridge he may have the answer to his dilemma.

Popovic said he could not speak highly enough of Bridge's contribution to the team's success.

"Nothing seems to phase Bridgey or surprise me with what he does on the field," he said.

"I feel he is playing better than he ever has at our club.

"Putting the goals aside I just feel his whole game (is at its peak) and he deserves everything that is happening for him at the moment.

"Every week is a different week in terms of who we will put there (at centre-forward). We had no doubt that Bridgey can do the job, as he can do as a winger or a number 10.

"And we have been scoring regularly so we have not been doing too bad. We have been constantly creating and I hope this starts something off and we start putting our chances away."

So how does Bridge feel about becoming the team's central striker?

"I don't care. As long as I'm playing I'm happy," he said.

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4 min read
Published 30 January 2016 at 2:11am
By Philip Micallef
Source: SBS