Match Preview – Popa: “We’re a team that wants more”


Head Coach Tony Popovic has reaffirmed his side’s determination to set a new club Hyundai A-League record by securing a sixth successive win in Sunday’s Round 15 clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium (kick-off at 3.30pm WST).


Glory made it five on the bounce by downing Adelaide United last time out, thereby equalling the club’s best ever run of consecutive victories which was set twice in the 2015-16 season.

But Popovic is adamant that the men in purple feel that they still have plenty to prove.

“The morale is very high at the moment and everyone at the club is happy with the run that we’re on,” he said.

“But we’re also seeing a determination from the players that they want to keep this going and that’s important.

“Not long ago we were at the bottom of the table, so we know what that feels like as well and we don’t want to take our run for granted.

“It’s another opportunity on Sunday to extend the run. We have a chance to do that away from home against a big club and we’re looking forward to playing at the new stadium and seeing if we can get another win.

“We haven’t discussed it as a group [the possibility of setting a new club record] , but I think the players are aware that it would be a first for the club.

“You have to put yourself in a position to achieve that and now we have a chance.

“It’s a credit to them [the players] that it’s a discussion point.

“The players are really working hard on the training pitch to give ourselves a chance to do it.”

Despite Wanderers’ form tailing off after they opened the campaign by winning three on the spin, Popovic is still expecting his former side to make life difficult for the visitors at Bankwest Stadium.

“Western Sydney have maybe been the opposite to us,” he said.

“They made a great start to the season and now they’re having a bit of a bad run in terms of results.

“So we understand that in front of their home fans they’ll be desperate for a win and we have to be prepared for that.

“But we also need to show them that we’re a team that wants more.

“We’re not satisfied with what we’ve done so far, we want to keep improving and keep getting more results.

“It’s a great challenge. It’s a beautiful stadium and a great pitch and it’s a great opportunity to showcase our football.”

In terms of injury news, meanwhile, Glory’s Head Coach is hopeful that both Juande (groin) and Chris Ikonomidis (knee) will be fit enough to come into his selection thoughts this weekend.

“Chris will train today, but not with the group,”” he said.

“He’s certainly getting better and we’re very happy with his progress.

“We’re probably a little bit surprised that after that challenge that he’s recovered so quickly.

“We still have four days to go and we’re optimistic that he’ll be fine.

“Juande will train today with the group and if he gets through today and tomorrow, he’ll be a part of the squad.

“Osama [Malik] is still not right for this week, but he is joining in with most of the drills today which is another step forward. He’s getting closer.”

Glory will be out to extend an impressive recent run against the red-and-blacks which has seen them lose just one of the last ten meetings between the two clubs.

The WA side have also lost just once on their travels this term, while Wanderers have recorded two wins, two draws and two defeats in their six home games to date.

Match Details

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Perth Glory

Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta

Kick-Off: 6:30pm (Local) (3:30pm (AWST))

Referee: Adam Fielding

Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields

Assistant Referee 2: Kearney Robinson

Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 6:00pm (AEDT) 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

Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SEN+, SEN2, 6PR, Super Radio Network, SWR999).

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

To purchase tickets visit www.a-league.com.au/tickets

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Daniel LOPAR (GK), 4.Dylan MCGOWAN, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Matthew JURMAN, 7.Mitchell DUKE (c), 8.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 9.Nicolai MULLER, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 16.Mathieu CORDIER, 19.Pirmin SCHWEGLER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Nicholas SULLIVAN, 23.Kosta GROZOS, 27.Kwame YEBOAH, 31.Noah PAGDEN, 33.Tate RUSSELL, 34.Patrick ZIEGLER, 35.Mohamed ADAM, 40.Nicholas SUMAN (GK), 52.Mohamed AL-TAAY.

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 8.Jordan O’DOHERTY (promoted), 11.Bruce KAMAU (promoted), 16.Mathieu CORDIER (promoted), 52.Mohamed AL-TAAY (promoted)

Outs: 59.Dean PELEKANOS (not selected), 62.Ali AUGLAH (not selected)

Unavailable: 10.Radoslaw MAJEWSKI (knee), 13.Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS (international duty), 17.Keanu BACCUS (international duty), 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (shoulder), 29.Daniel WILMERING (knee)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 23.Dane INGHAM, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**1-3 to be omitted**

Ins: 27.JUANDE (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 6.Dino DJULBIC (ankle – indefinite), 13.Osama MALIK (hamstring – 1 week), 18.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO (international duty)