Popa praise after first point for Wanderers


Western Sydney Wanderers FC coach Tony Popovic is confident his side will continue to improve following a 0-0 stalemate with the Mariners in their Hyundai A-League clash on Wednesday night in Sydney.

The Red and Black had more than double the amount of shots on goal than their opposition but lacked compsure in front of goal as they picked up their first point of the campaign at Pirtek Stadium.

“We had enough chances and you can’t ask for much more,” said Popovic after the game. 

“If you’re creating those kind of opportunities then as a coach on the sideline you’re disappointed you’re not scoring but you’re also pleased to see improvement in the team.

“We’re seeing that in the past few weeks, we’ve had patches. On another day we could have won that by three or four.”

Despite being disappointed to not come away with the three points Popovic praised the performance of his team, in particular the contribution of his players making their home debut.

“All of them had their moments and now the next step is that they improve and extend those moments in games and we’re sure they will.

“They came off and no-one’s injured so now you want to see Nikita [Rukavytsya] extend that, have better periods for longer. Same as Vitor [Saba], Romeo [Castelen] and Seyi [Adeleke].

“It’s Matty’s [Spiranovic] second game since the World Cup so the moments were good but goals change games regardless of what anyone tells you.”

The Wanderers made nine changes to the side that went down to Glory at the weekend but Popovic wasn’t prepared to use this as an excuse for the failure to execute in front of goal.

“They kept their structure, they kept moving the ball and in the 90th minute we could’ve got two or three goals.

“It’s difficult when you’re playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, with the travel from Perth but we’ll assess that.

“These are the cards we’re dealt, in terms of the fixtures and the travel.

“Would we like it all different? Yes we would. But would I change winning a Champions League? No.”