THEIR harshest critics have raised eyebrows but the Western Sydney Wanderers' early success in the A-League hasn't surprised star striker Mark Bridge.
The former St Clair local has played a vital part with two goals so far in the club's debut season, including the Wanderers first-ever goal.
The Wanderers have been this season's surprise packets with several upset wins and were sitting fourth before Saturday night 2-0 loss against Melbourne Victory, where they had a one-man advantage for most of the game.
The Wanderers have conceded the third least amount of goals.
"We didn't have long to get a team together but we've built a solid partnership and are happy with where we're at," Bridge told the Star.
"I'm not really surprised. Many of the players have played a lot of A-League games. It's comfortable sitting under the radar."
Bridge listed their 1-0 win against Perth Glory as their most satisfying win so far.
"That's always a tough road trip and we played one man down for half a game," Bridge said.
"We're very strong defensively and have one of best defensive records in the competition. Our defence structure has kept us in games."
The 138 A-League game veteran has resurrected his career after stints with Newcastle Jets and most recently Sydney FC.
"I needed a change and I've fitted in perfectly," he said.
"I try to score as many goals as I can. I should have scored a few more last weekend (against Perth Glory)."
He's confident the Wanderers will be in the mix come finals time.
"The goal is to be competitive. It's particularly important to me, being a western Sydney boy."
The Wanderers head to New Zealand to take on Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.
Go to stmarysstar.com for more sport, including cricket, last week AFL's draft and a photo gallery of the NSW Breakers in action at Blacktown International Sportspark.