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WSW form hasn't been good enough: Nichols

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017 Emma Kemp

Playmaker Mitch Nichols has delivered a brutally honest assessment of Western Sydney's substandard A-League season heading into their showdown with the Wellington Phoenix in New Plymouth.

Still carrying hope for a grand-final appearance, Nichols admits the Wanderers' form "hasn't been good enough" despite their often tantalising build-up play.

Anaemic results - three wins, five losses and an incredible nine draws - have ravaged a campaign hardly befitting a club that's made three grand finals in its four seasons and offset the other dreadfully poor one with a historic Asian Champions League trophy.

For the first time, the club's perpetually devout fans are openly resentful, the Red and Black Bloc this week declaring "enough is enough" and demanding coach Tony Popovic and his management step up.

Popovic is curtly adamant the goal remains to win the title.

As it stands, the Wanderers have 18 points from 17 games, leaving them 25 adrift of leaders Sydney FC and seven ahead of last-placed Adelaide United.

They sit one point behind the seventh-placed Phoenix.

After Saturday's tough-to-take 2-1 defeat to Brisbane, a rapid turnaround is non-negotiable.

"We needed to win on the weekend and we came up short," Nichols told AAP.

"We had our chances - it's just the story of our season.

"We're making silly errors and getting punished for them. It hasn't been good enough on our behalf.

"But we still believe we can make it to grand-final day. We need to start righting those wrongs this weekend and climb our way back up the table."

Nichols noted it was particularly crucial to take maximum points from their next two games, away to seventh-placed Wellington on Saturday and then home to ninth-placed Central Coast, as the third Sydney derby looms the following week.

"The two teams we've got next are around us (on the table) so we've got to win," he said.

"It's not really a home game for Wellington (in New Plymouth) so we can take advantage of that."

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