Wanderers face tough challenge after losses

WESTERN Sydney Wanderers have hit a small wall at the midway point of the A-League season with just one win in the past five matches.

Their latest setback was a 1-0 loss to Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.

Adelaide United scored in the fourth minute and the score remain unchanged for the remainder of the game.

It was a tough week for the team losing midweek to Melbourne Victory 3-1 in Melbourne, then again to Adelaide and then finding out Japanese midfielder Shinji Ono will finish up with the club at the end of the season. Ono will join J-2 club Consadole Sapporo in June.

Western Sydney Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman said the club had the utmost admiration and affection for Ono.

"Shinji is the ultimate professional on and off the field and the ultimate gentleman," Gorman said.

"He will leave us with long-lasting memories of his time with our club.

"He is committed to the Wanderers until the end of his contract in May this year which will see him help lead our club in its 2014 Asian Champions League debut and, hopefully, a second Hyundai A-League finals series."

Ono said he wasn't offered a contract extension and held off as long as possible before deciding to accept the Japanese offer.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic now has the task of getting the team back into winning form over the coming weeks after their little slump.

The Wanderers are second on 26 points after 16 rounds, five behind leader Brisbane Roar.

In round 17, the Wanderers play Perth Glory on Australia Day on Sunday at Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta, at 7pm.

A big crowd is expected to help lift the Wanderers on their home turf.

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