Josep Gombau admits he might have approached his situation at Western Sydney Wanderers differently when reflecting on the season that has been.
Western Sydney lost their spot in the finals on Sunday after a disappointing 3-2 defeat against Adelaide United saw them slip to seventh.
It was looking up for the Wanderers early having taken the lead through an Oriol Riera penalty, but the Reds fought back to lead by full time.
Keanu Baccus was sent off on VAR review for lashing out at Dane Johan Absalonsen, which made the Wanderers’ steep task a mountain.
Gombau assumed the hot seat under difficult circumstances, chosen as Tony Popovic’s successor.
His selection as head coach, just the second in Western Sydney’s still young history, signalled a major shift in a new direction.
At various times throughout the season, Gombau faced criticism for his approach, none more so than after his team’s 5-0 Sydney Derby loss in December.
He wrung plenty of changes for the match and they backfired spectacularly as Sydney FC coasted to a 5-0 triumph.
Acknowledging he was under pressure, Gombau insisted the “project” at Western Sydney was a driving force forward.
“Every single coach in this business knows that when results do not come, he is under pressure,” he said.
“But we have a project. This is what we need to think, that today we finished one season, and we need to think about the next one.
“For sure, you think about the way things have gone, as a coach, you need to think what you can improve.
“For sure, there are a few moments that I would have done differently.”
Meanwhile, their one-time finals rivals Perth Glory have also turned their attentions to the offseason after their 3-2 loss to Brisbane Roar.
Glory led 1-0 at nib Stadium but super sup Henrique changed the course of the game with two goals as Brisbane assumed sixth spot.
“We’ll look now and assess the squad and see where we want to go, see where we can strengthen,” coach Kenny Lowe explained in a media conference.
“We’ll also chat to the players and see who wants to stay.
“It’s a hectic period now.”
Lowe was coy on which players though might leave the club, and indeed those who could find their way in for the 2018-19 season.
“I’ll think hat’ll come out in the next week or two as we go through the squad and do all the testing.”