Round 2 Focus: ‘The potential is clear to see’ – Popa


Tony Popovic feels that there is plenty more to come from his squad as the preparations for Saturday’s away clash with Hyundai A-League new boys Western United continues.


Glory were only denied an opening-day victory by Brisbane Roar’s stoppage-time equaliser at HBF Park last weekend and the Head Coach drew enough positives from his side’s performance to leave him quietly confident ahead of Round 2.

“There are so many good signs within the group,” he said, “and the potential is clear to see in terms of where this group could get to.

“We’re always confident and always believe that we can get a result.

“We understand the complexities and how difficult it is, but we actually thrive on that and hopefully we’ll come home with the points.”

Not that Popovic is underestimating a Western United side which won its first ever competitive game away in Wellington and will be backed by a pumped-up home crowd at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.

“It’s a new club and we’re looking forward to playing them,” he said.

“They had a fantastic win [last weekend] and I can appreciate how hard it is as a start-up club to win that first game and how important that is.

“They’ve already achieved that, so congratulations to them.

“Now they have their first home game and we know they’ll be confident and want to get a good crowd and a good backing there.

“So there’s a big challenge ahead, but it’s one we feel we’re ready for.”

And Glory’s Head Coach is looking forward to crossing swords with a familiar figure in the form of opposite number and former Sydney United and Sydney FC teammate, Mark Rudan.

“We know Mark from the great job he did at Wellington last year and we can see that has a similar philosophy in terms of how he wants to play the game,” he said.

“They [Western United] have a very experienced and good team and there are no easy games in this league, as we know, but it’s a chance for us to improve on last week’s performance.

“There were many good things and we want to extend those moments a little bit longer and we have an opportunity to do that on Saturday.”

In terms of early team news, Glory’s Ivan Franjic is available for selection after missing the Roar clash through suspension and Popovic confirmed that fellow-defender Gregory Wuthrich has not suffered any ill effects from his heavy fall in the second half of last week’s game.