Tony Popovic’s decision to sign Chris Ikonomidis is paying off big time.

The 23-year-old’s link up with Andy Keogh and Joel Chianese up front for Perth Glory has proved a fruitful attacking combination for Popovic in the past two games.

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It’s the kind of speed, skill and killer instinct Ikonomidis has displayed so far this season that earned him his six Socceroos caps in the past.

But Popovic is wary of heaping the pressure on him to get back to that level too early.

“We want to give credit to the players, but lets not straight away talk about the Socceroos when someone has one good game,” Popovic said.

“You’ve got to earn a Socceroos shirt.

“I think he has the potential to be there, he has quality, but I think that there’s work to do and he has to keep improving if he wants to get in there.”

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With the prospect of one day being in the frame for an international recall aside, Ikonomidis is keeping his goals simple, focusing on the here and now and enjoying his football at the Glory.

The youngster was a handful for the Roar in his second start for the Glory this season, with his marauding runs and blistering speed causing defenders problems throughout the entirety of the match.

His major impact came in the 15th minute when he tore past Thomas Kristensen and Jacob Pepper into the box, and laid the ball on a silver platter for Keogh to slot home from close range.

“We’re getting to understand each other more and more every session,” he said.

“I feel great, [my] third game now and we won, which is the most important thing.

“Just to stay as long as I can on the football pitch and putting in good performances like tonight, and helping my team win games.

“The new coaching staff, the new club, my new teammates … that was the reason behind my move back here, knowing what a professional setup and how they like to run things here.

“It’s everything I was hoping for.”

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

 

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Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.