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Kamau wants regular start after impressing for Wanderers

Western Sydney winger Bruce Kamau is staking his claim to become a first-team regular after dazzling in his first start of the season, guiding the Wanderers to a 3-0 win over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night.

The 23-year-old delivered a strong case to cement a regular starting spot with an impressive display against Wellington, setting up an early goal that put the Wanderers on course for their first win of the season. It was Kamau’s first appearance in the starting line-up for the Wanderers in the A-League after joining from Melbourne City and a superb assist for Alexander Baumjohann’s goal showed why he’s one of the club’s most exciting recruits in the off-season.

Fine game: Bruce Kamau contests a header with Liberto Cacace of the Phoenix on Saturday night.

Fine game: Bruce Kamau contests a header with Liberto Cacace of the Phoenix on Saturday night.Credit:AAP

The lively winger’s solo run and well-weighted pass led to their opening goal and with coach Markus Babbel watching from the grandstand, Kamau is hoping to have convinced the Wanderers boss he is worthy of being the permanent winger in Western Sydney’s attack.

“Of course. Any time you’re called upon you want to do your best and that’s what I tried to do and I was happy to get an assist and help the team,” he said.

Babbel was serving a one-match ban after his dismissal in last week’s derby defeat to Sydney FC, meaning he could not take his usual place on the touchline or enter the team’s dressing-room on match day. Assistant Jean Paul De Marigny deputised in his place and while the 3-0 scoreline suggested there was little disruption to their plans, Kamau says there was a notable absence felt on the field with Babbel not on the bench.

“Yeah of course, he’s a big coach to have on the sidelines. It does make a difference but credit to the rest of the coaching staff that we didn’t have any other interruptions. It was an extra challenge for us,” Kamau said. “All the coaching staff, all the players, everyone is tight knit so it wasn’t something that was weighing on us before the game.”

The Wanderers’ frustrating 2-0 defeat to Sydney FC rankled the club during the week but the result served as motivation to bounce back immediately and beat the Phoenix. The players could have been forgiven for wanting to forget the defeat as quickly as possible but instead harnessed their frustration throughout the week and arrived in Wellington itching to atone for their loss to their rivals.

“We didn’t want one performance to affect the rest of our season. It was a matter of bouncing back and performing strongly,” Kamau said.

The Wanderers were clinical in New Zealand despite being forced to battle difficult conditions including heavy winds that made it near impossible to read the flight of the ball in the air.

“There was a lot of wind and it made it a together but the conditions are the same for both teams," Kamau said.

“It’s tough, the wind affects the way you play. It’s difficult reading long balls and it makes it tougher. You just have to adapt to it. There’s not much you can do about it.”

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