'Top-class' Ziegler hailed after helping Wanderers to victory

0:00

He's the German that could plug Western Sydney Wanderers' leaky defence - and it's not Markus Babbel.

The Wanderers recorded just their second win of the A-League season on Friday after beating luckless Central Coast Mariners 2-0.

And while the likes of Alex Baumjohann, Keanu Baccus and Jaushua Sotirio claim the plaudits, Babbel was also quick to praise fellow countryman Patrick Ziegler.

The veteran defender - one of just two players signed by Babbel - was making his A-League debut after suffering a knee injury on the eve of the campaign.

And he helped a Wanderers defence that had conceded 11 goals in their opening six games to only their second clean sheet of the season.

Babbel had hoped to give the former Kaiserslautern centre-back minutes in the youth team last week but didn't want to risk him playing on synthetic turf.

He also knew it may have been a gamble to thrust the 28-year-old straight into the starting line-up against the Mariners.

"I was thinking of course he's always a risk after two-and-a-half months to bring someone new for the first game in the A-League," Babbel said.

"But the game was too important today.

"Patrick is a top-class player. If he's on the pitch, players around him feel more confident, feel better and for me, it was clear that he can play a top performance.

"Sixty to seventy minutes, I was also surprised that he played 90 minutes in a fantastic way. I'm very happy for him and it was a good decision."

The win gives the Wanderers a major boost ahead of their second derby of the season next week when they host Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium.

It came just one week after their hapless 4-0 drubbing by Melbourne Victory.

"It was what I'm looking for, the reaction. I said to the players during the week, you can fall down - this can happen - but stand up and fight for your dreams," he said.

"This was, for me today, outstanding. It was top."

Source AAP