<
>

New striker to ease Wanderers' Cup pain

Western Sydney coach Markus Babbel's disappointment with the Wanderers' limp FFA Cup loss to Melbourne City has been tempered by the impending arrival of experienced German striker Alexander Meier.

The Wanderers were dumped out of the Cup with a 3-0 quarter-final loss to Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Wednesday night and rarely looked threatening.

Babbel refused to confirm the identity of the club's new free-agent signing but it is understood to be the 36-year-old Meier, who amassed 119 Bundesliga goals in a 14-year career from 2004-18 with Eintracht Frankfurt.

He spent the 2018-19 campaign with St Pauli in the German second division.

"I was looking for a player who is different to what we have and also to come with the right reasons," Babbel said.

"Because this is the biggest problem - of course Sydney's a beautiful city ... but this is not the reason to come, to come is to have success with Western Sydney Wanderers and I'm very happy that we could wait so long to find him.

"We were talking on Monday with him, on Tuesday we signed the contract and on Friday he's on the plane.

"So I was talking to him - he comes for the right reasons and I'm very happy that he decided to come to us and I hope he can help us."

Matthew Jurman, Patrick Ziegler and Mitch Duke were among the key Wanderers missing from the FFA Cup loss and their depth was found wanting against a City side led by the red-hot Craig Noone and Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren.

"Big disappointment because this is the reason why you have a squad and it is also a chance for other players to show 'hey I want to be in the squad, I want to be on the pitch' and City deserved to win," Babbel told reporters.

"They were stronger, they had more discipline - this is the biggest disappointment today because tactically we were not good and I was thinking we did a lot, especially what we want to do, how we want to play - but we did too many mistakes.

"And to be fair, of course we had also four big chances but we didn't deserve it today because Melbourne wanted it more."