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Wanderers need to be patient: Nicholls

AAP logoAAP 12/10/2016 Matt Encarnacion

Western Sydney star Mitch Nicholls has urged his new teammates to trust in the patient game plan that got the Wanderers out of a similar early-season funk last season.

Much like in 2015/16 the Wanderers find themselves last after the first round having been thrashed by Sydney FC on Saturday.

And with just eight players remaining from the 16-man squad that fell to Adelaide in last season's decider, Nicholls said a slow start is the price you pay for a huge personnel turnover.

He believes sticking to the system that worked wonders last campaign is key.

"We've changed a lot of players, but not much has changed in the game plan," Nicholls told AAP.

"That was one thing we didn't do on the weekend,. We didn't put our foot on the ball and keep it and make them work. We had a you-attack, we-attack game.

"The players that come in, obviously it will take time. Pre-season is a good time to gel but the season's started. It's about us getting on the front foot and building some momentum."

Nicholls said the team, who'll play last season's grand final foes in Adelaide on Friday, had spent much of this week focusing on not panicking if a few goals get past them.

"It's about us not crumbling, falling apart when they score or get behind," Nicholls said.

"We really didn't play our game as much. We were forcing it too much and not being patient. Defensively we need to not let them get those chances and be more compact."

Like they did last year, the 27-year-old said he would have faith in both the playing roster and coach Tony Popovic.

It took the Wanderers a month before claiming their first victory in 2015-16.

"We're not going to throw it in and change what we've been working on last year and this pre-season based on one result," he said.

"Obviously it's very disappointing at home losing to our rivals, but we've got faith. We've had a good week on the pitch this week - everyone's fit and there's no injuries.

"Everyone's putting their hand up for selection and want to take the game to Adelaide. We'll look to get the three points down there."

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