No cartwheels but Popovic pleased after Jets win

Having just secured a long awaited first home win of the season in a 2-0 triumph over Newcastle Jets, Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic wasn’t getting too carried away with the result.

“We can’t look too far ahead. We’ve never been despondent with a bad result when we know we’re playing well and we won’t be doing cartwheels tonight either just because we won a football match,” he said post-match.

In a comprehensive performance from his side, Popovic was pleased with a defence that secured back to back cleansheets.

“Until last week we hadn’t kept a cleansheet and when you don’t do that it makes it very hard to win football games.”

While new keeper Vedran Janjetovic helped them to their first cleansheet last week, the Wanderers back four showed plenty of improvement as Janjetovic was kept quiet in goals.

“I thought last week we were very good defensively and I think it’s been coming. We have improved defensively, maybe on the stats it doesn’t show it, but over the past several weeks we’ve improved as a unit, as a team.

“Against Melbourne City it really started, that 60 minutes with ten men was a really good defensive display and we’ve continued on with that,” Popovic said.

Along with the cleansheet, a goal each to Western Sydney youngsters Lachlan Scott and Jaushua Sotirio sealed a first win in seven games.

“We talk about the results not being there but we’ve blooded a lot of youngsters this year. So we’re building through the club and it’s nice to see some reward for these young boys,” Popovic said.

Having led the line in Brendon Santalab’s absence, Scott kept his spot despite the former’s return and was rewarded with a maiden A-League goal that Popovic was proud of.

“It was a fantastic finish. He did what we see at training. He’ll need some time out of the team to recover physically but at the moment we’re delighted for him. It’s a jump up for the boy but he’s handling himself better and better each week. For us Santalab was never going to start really.”

It was a night to forget for Newcastle Jets coach Mark Jones who felt his side just needed to dig a little deeper.

“We needed to find a little bit extra and someone needed to do a little bit more,” he said.

But much like Popovic, Jones isn’t getting carried away with the result.

“We’ve just been undefeated for six weeks so at some point you’re going to lose a game and I think Muscat said the same thing. They’ve lost a couple now but Melbourne Victory I’m sure their belief isn’t going to change, and nor will ours.”

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A football fanatic and journalism student who won't leave you wondering about any Wanderers news this season as I cover all things Red and Black for The Football Sack.