The winger has watched on as the Wanderers have struggled for results in his absence, and is desperate to get involved again and do his part for points - and goals
|By JOHN GRECO
Western Sydney Wanderers winger Youssouf Hersi has vowed to help end their mini-form slump against champions Brisbane Roar.
The Ethiopia-born former Netherlands youth international has missed the past two games after he was sent off for lashing out at Scott Jamieson in the club's 1-0 win over Perth in Week 7.
Hersi said it had been hard watching as the club struggled to back-to-back defeats to Melbourne Victory and Wellington over the last fortnight and he was ready to make amends.
The 30-year-old, who endured two injury-riddled seasons abroad before joining the A-League newcomers, was in sensational form before his enforced lay-off and is desperate to resume where he left off.
"I'm feeling good on the field and I'm happy the coach put me in and have trust in me and I want to pay him back," Hersi said on Wednesday.
"These last two games I could not help the coach and my team but against Brisbane I will.
"We need to get back on track. We're playing at home, we have a lot of support, good fans and hopefully I will try something to help the team.
"I'm ready, can't wait. I have so much energy and excited about it. It's like first game of season again for me."
The return of Hersi will be good news for Western Sydney, who will benefit from having the extra option and pace in the front third.
It is no secret the Wanderers are having trouble scoring goals, netting just five times in nine games this season.
But Hersi believes the team's scoring woes are understandable and he wants the club's critics to get off their back.
"We have just been together for four months... we are just starting the club," the former Ajax attacker stressed.
"If you see the other teams they have been together for many years and some players are playing a long time together.
"Why make problems when there's nothing?
"Everybody is pressuring us now that we don't score goals but it doesn't matter, the goals will come.
"We just need to have confidence, play well and we'll see what happens at the end of the season."
But for now their sole focus is on overcoming the Roar at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Despite winning just one of their last four matches, Popovic said his side had plenty of belief after beating the Roar 1-0 at Suncorp Stadium earlier this season.
"That came after our first three games, we hadn't scored, hadn't won a game and the players put in a very good performance on that day and we certainly take confidence from that," Popovic said.
"So we go into game with a confident frame of mind.
"We're playing at home and we're confident we can get the result required."
The Wanderers are still without midfielder Aaron Mooy, who is away with the Socceroos at the East Asian Cup qualifiers.