Santalab stymied by Wanderers' strength

FOOTBALL

A derby winner and a 60-minute stint in Melbourne has brought Illawarra-born Wanderer Brendon Santalab no closer to cementing his spot in the Western Sydney line-up.

As the Wanderers prepare take on Adelaide United on Sunday, Santalab is still locked in a battle for a starters role in red and black.

"I thought I had been doing well and in our squad we never know who is going to start," Santalab said.

Santalab scored what he described as the "goal he will remember most" in his career in the Wanderers 1-0 win over the Sky Blues before starting on Tuesday night, in a 3-1 loss to the Victory.

The results leave the Wanderers with just four points from a possible 12 since Christmas, but Santalab is confident the club is still dealing with the pressure of their second season.

"I think there is an expectation to win every game and we set ourselves that standard as well," he said.

"When that is the expectation you have a lot of pressure and you play to win every match whether it be home or away.

"There is no playing for draws that is for sure."

Santalab was in the Illawarra to promote the new season of football with Sydney FC rival Corey Gameiro.

The Sky Blues play Central Coast tomorrow, and three points would see them jump the Mariners on the table.

"We have a massive history and especially with the Mariners losing [Michael] McGlinchey and with [Marco] Flores out injured, this is a game where we will be going into it quietly confident," Gameiro said.

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