Western Sydney coach Josep Gombau has played down rumours of dressing room unrest, after the club missed the A-League finals for only the second time in their history.
Wanderers had the chance to secure the sixth and last finals place with a win on on Sunday, but lost 3-2 at home to fifth-placed Adelaide United.
It brought the curtain down on the most inconsistent season in the young club’s six-year history and will inevitably spark speculation about the future of Spanish coach.
Foundation coach Tony Popovic left to join Turkish club Karabukspor a week before the season and caretaker Hayden Foxe steered the Wanderers to a win and four draws in their first five games.
Gombau was appointed on Nov. 1 last year on a three-year contract, but the club struggled for consistency as the players tried to adjust to his style.
He had to wait five games for his first victory.
The Wanderers never managed to win more than two consecutive matches and had just seven in their 22 games under Gombau.
Along the way there were rumblings of discontent.
Gombau reportedly clashed with star striker Oriol Riera and midfielder Roly Bonevacia, Kearyn Baccus refused to play a game in Perth after being denied an overseas transfer and former Socceroo Chris Herd was released by mutual consent last week.
“It’s true that when players are not playing they are not happy but you speak about four players, it’s not a big issue,” Gombau said.
“When you are make a lot of changes in the way that they are used to things in the middle of the season, it’s not an easy situation.”
Gombau had no regrets about trying to implement his style of play from the time he arrived, even though the season had already started.
“You have a preseason and you can work and build something without the pressure of the competition, it’s better,” he said.
“It’s not [the] right or wrong [decision], it’s what we did.
“We need to make a review of the season and as a club move forward, I know it’s disappointing for everybody.
“After that we need to start to work to prepare for next season.”
Questioned about potentially making changes to the squad, Gombau said: “It’s something we need to discuss with the owners with the people in the club and after that we will decide.”