Match Preview: ”We control our own destiny” – Popa


Tony Popovic was quick to note that Glory’s Finals hopes remain within their own hands ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s final game of the regular Hyundai A-League season against Western United (kick-off 3.35pm WST at Bankwest Stadium). 


Should Adelaide United beat Melbourne City on Tuesday evening, Glory will need to take three points from the United game in order to guarantee Finals football and secure fourth spot in the process.

Any other result in the Adelaide United – Melbourne City game, meanwhile, would leave Glory guaranteed a top-six finish regardless of the outcome against Western United, but for the Head Coach, the fact that his side do not have to depend on results elsewhere is key.

“It’s quite tight between third and sixth place,” he said, “and a few teams below that have been pushing and it has been like that since we came in to the hub.

“So that’s always been there.

“We know we control our own destiny.

“We know we need to have a significant improvement in our performance against Western United.

“A week ago we had a very good performance against the Wanderers, four days after that we had a very poor performance, so we need to get back playing the way we want to play.

“And I feel that we’ve shown over the last couple of years that our consistency has always been up there, so we need to really focus on that.

“It’s an important game for us.

“We know ladder position is tight, but we also know that a win puts us in fourth position, so that’s an opportunity for us.

“Get the performance right and we have a chance to win the game.

“We understand that and I’m confident we’ll see a much improved outing.”

Popovic went on to stress that his team selection will not be swayed by the outcome of Adelaide’s game against Melbourne City.

“We’re preparing a team regardless of the result tonight,” he said.

“That’s really not at the forefront of our minds. 

“We will train this afternoon and the team that trains this afternoon, and hopefully everyone is fit and available, will be the team that plays tomorrow regardless of tonight’s result.”

On the subject of injury news, the Head Coach remains optimistic that both Ivan Franjic (knee) and Kristian Popovic (foot) will be available for selection having both missed Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Melbourne Victory.

“Today will be the first full session for us, but everyone got through pretty unscathed yesterday,” he said.

“There are a few bumps and bruises and everyone’s a bit sore, but you expect that after the amount of games that we’ve played.

“Kristian is doing a lot better.

“He had a light run yesterday for the first time and I think he’s now over the infection.

“He’s still very tender in his foot, so we’re trying to manage the discomfort that he’s having… and we hope he can train again today.

“Ivan did the same as Kristian yesterday and all reports are that he’s very confident that he can have a full session today.

“So we’ll assess him today and he’ll go through some more intense movements with the team and we’re confident that he’ll get through that.”

In terms of Tuesday’s opponents, meanwhile, Popovic has been impressed by the way Mark Rudan’s men have performed during what has been a testing maiden season in the competition.

“They’ve had a lot of challenges off the park since the COVID break, including an extended break without training or games,” he said, “but they kept their group together and they look like a team that is physically quite well.

“They have a lot of experienced players out on the park and those experienced players are leading the way for them at the moment and they’re playing good football.

“So we come up against a team that’s confident and it’s a great challenge for us, but we know that if we play with our confidence and our type of football, we can match anyone.

“We go in with respect for Western United, but no fear of the game and I can see from the players around the hotel that they’re itching to get out there.”

Glory have met Western United just once this season, with the two sides battling out a 1-1 draw in Geelong back in Round 2.

Match Details

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Perth Glory v Western United FC

Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta

Kick-Off: 3:35pm (Local) (5:35pm (Local))

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher

Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal

Fourth Official: Tim Danaskos

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 507 from 3:30pm (WST) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvWUN

Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 13.Osama MALIK, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Vince LIA, 23.Dane INGHAM, 25.Carlo ARMIENTO, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 50.Daniel MARGUSH (GK), 88.Neil KILKENNY (C)

** 2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Alex GRANT (promoted), 5.Ivan FRANJIC (promoted), 29.Kristian POPOVIC (returns from injury)

Outs: 61.Yianni PERKATIS (not selected)

Unavailable: Nil

Western United FC squad: 1.Filip KURTO (GK), 2.Aaron CALVER, 4.Andrew DURANTE, 5.Dylan PIERIAS, 6.Tomoki IMAI, 9.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS, 10.Steven LUSTICA, 11.Connor PAIN, 14.Max BURGESS, 15.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 17.Joshua CAVALLO, 18.Besart BERISHA, 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Sebastian PASQUALI, 22.Tomislav USKOK, 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 25.Luke DUZEL, 26.Patrick ANTELMI, 27.Jerry SKOTADIS, 30.Ryan SCOTT (GK)

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 9.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (promoted), 25.Luke DUZEL (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 3.Brendan HAMILL (knee – season), 13.Ivan VUJICA (groin – season), 20.James DELIANOV (GK) (knee – season)