AAP Soccer

Babbel puts Wanderers imports on notice

By AAP Newswire

Western Sydney coach Markus Babbel will see what imports Oriol Riera and Alex Baumjohann deliver over their final nine weeks before deciding on their long-term futures.

Riera and Baumjohann head a long list of players without deals for next season, when the Wanderers aim to re-establish themselves as a force with their $300 million new home.

Baumjohann will make his anticipated return from injury in Saturday's road trip to Adelaide, where Babbel hopes he can string together a strong finish to the season with Riera.

"Alex (was) injured for a long period. He wasn't in the right way. Now we have a look what's going on after his injury," Babbel said on Thursday.

After scoring 15 goals in 25 games last year, Riera has just five in 16 so far this summer, and missed from point-blank range against the Mariners.

"Ori also, he was long out with an injury so now he's working hard to come back to his best performance," Babbel said.

"They need games. We have to help them.

"Also, I hope that on Saturday if he gets the same chance (as he did) against Central Coast, I hope he's scoring this time. The most important thing for us is that he's working hard."

One player the club could look at is former Socceroos representative and ex-Wanderers striker Tomi Juric, who appears on his way out of Swiss club FC Luzern.

Juric has strong ties to Babbel, having played under him in Switzerland before the German took up the Wanderers gig mid-last year.

Babbel suggested Juric had struggled to discover his best form after returning from the World Cup in Russia.

"This is the problem if you are an Australian national team player, because he never got a rest. The longest holiday what he has is 10 days, max 14 days," Babbel said.

"And then he has to start again because all the time if the national team is playing, this is the break in Switzerland. And if he's coming back the season is nearly starting."

Asked whether the club would consider looking at him for next summer, Babbel said: "Of course. He's a good striker, but I don't know what what he wants to do.

"The last time we spoke to him he wants to stay in Europe."

In team news ahead of the clash against Adelaide, the Wanderers have lost Kwame Yeboah for up to three weeks with a groin injury, while Jaushua Sotirio has been overlooked.

Midfielder Keanu Baccus has agreed to a two-year extension.