Popovic praises Wanderers’ body-line defence

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The Wanderers’ defence was the crucial factor in their 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar according to Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic.

Talking after the match Popovic conceded that his side did not play their best performance but were able to win with rock-solid defending and a little bit of magic from their creative players.

“I think today probably wasn’t our best game,” said Popovic.

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“Our defending is the difference so far. We’re limiting teams to very few opportunities.”

Popovic recognised and praised the large amount of defending the team had to do against Brisbane.

“Today we had a lot of defensive work to do,” said Popovic.

“More than we’ve probably had in any game this year and as a unit we’re defending very well.

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Popovic was pleased with the Wanderers’ willingness to concentrate in defence.

“We defended our box really resiliently,” said Popovic.

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“We put our bodies on the line, which is a real feature of the way we defended. We didn’t give them any clear opportunities. So although we were under pressure they didn’t have clear opportunities, our keeper didn’t have a save to make.”

Popovic indicated that the team’s defence has been steadily improving from week to week.

“We defended very well, extremely well; something that we improved on from Round One when we were poor in the set pieces.”

“Today we had a lot of set pieces to defend and we did that very well.”

Popovic said that the Wanderers’ defence was able to counterbalance their lack of control over the game. “I think majority of the games this year we’ve controlled most of them. Today we weren’t at our best,” said Popovic.

“The pleasing thing is that we still won.”

And he was happy to rely on his attacking players to find a winning goal.

“When you have creative players that we have we’re always a threat and tonight even in a tight match you always felt that one of the players up front could do something and in the end one of them did and we won the match.”

The Wanderers have a top of the table clash with Melbourne Victory next week but Tony Popovic is confident heading into the match.

“We know next week will be difficult. They’re the champions, the benchmark. We want to test ourselves next week and hopefully we can have another magical moment and walk off victorious again.”

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Michael Puterflam
Sydney FC and Manchester United fan. Digital Publishing Coordinator at Fox Sports Australia. B Media & B Commerce from UNSW. Former Guinness World Record holder for longest video game marathon (FIFA 11 for 30 hours).

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