Popovic relieved as Wanderers set on the right track

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A modest yet convincing 1-0 victory over Perth Glory at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday night was a step in the right direction toward Hyundai A-League success.

On the anniversary of the Western Sydney Wanderers ground-breaking AFC Champions League title the club celebrated their first win of the 2015/16 A-League season. It’s a small sign that their woes from last season seem to be behind them.

For Wanderers coach Tony Popovic it seemed a reprieve, overwriting the frustration and lack of cohesion that plagued has plagued the club in recent times.

“Finally, the players get a tangible, meaningful result for their hard work”, said a noticeably appeased Popovic.

An air of nostalgia hung about him as he continued, recalling the triumph of that night one year ago.

“It still brings a smile to my face, it always will”.

After Round Four and sitting bottom of the ladder, many of the Wanderers faithful harboured anxiety over the status of the club. Was this going to be a repeat of last season?

However the injection of some fresh talent, hard work off the pitch and a hunger for results finally culminated in a thoroughly rewarding and deserved victory on Sunday night, breaking a string of unfortunate results.

Perhaps the moment when this became most apparent was around the 60th minute.

At 1-0 up with the game still well in the balance and Perth avidly chasing a down a win, where last season the Wanderers would capitulate, last night they held steadfast.

Experienced defending, enthusiastic play and not allowing their pace to drop while in the lead were the three components that earned this result for the Red and Black.

And while some have raised concerns over whether the Wanderers have a dangerous enough goal scorer this season, what they exhibited on Sunday was collective attacking play based on the solid foundations of Mitch Nichols, Dario Vidosic and Mark Bridge.

“It’s tough to score” remarked Popovic.

“But I’m sure with the quality we have we’ll get it done this season”.

This quality also stems largely from Tony Popovic’s Spanish imports who have bolstered the former AFC champions’ midfield.

“I’m happy with all of them…they’re doing really well.”

The Wanderers move into seventh place – a long season and a lot of work lies ahead. But for now an air of hope has settled above Western Sydney.

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George Vlotis
UTS Journalism graduate and football fanatic. Ex-NSW premier league player and now fortunate enough to be reporting on the A-League. Sydney is Sky Blue. Follow me @VlotisGeorge

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