Popovic says Castelen has played even better

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Romeo Castelen wowed the Wanderers crowd and Victory defence with his skills and speed on Saturday night but coach Tony Popovic said he has played even better.

Castelen set up Mark Bridge’s goal in the 54th minute before scoring his own in the 79th minute to send the 17,073 strong crowd into delirium.

Speaking after the match Popovic said that Castelen earned his goal.

“Today wasn’t the prettiest of goals for him but it’d be hard to deny Romeo and say that he didn’t deserve it.”

Through this the Western Sydney coach said it wasn’t Castelen’s best performance.

“From my perspective I think he’s probably even played better in other games and not gotten the reward he deserved,” said Popovic.

“We forget earlier in the year against Adelaide. What he did in Adelaide was phenomenal [he] just didn’t get the goal.”

“We forget what he did at Central Coast.”

Castelen had a big performance in the Wanderers’ 1-1 draw with Adelaide United back in October and was a constant threat on the right flank in their 2-0 win over the Mariners in November.

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat went so far as to say that Castelen was the difference in the match.

“Tonight he was outstanding,” says Muscat.

“He was probably the difference in the main moments. He had a lot of composure on the ball in and around the box. He caused us some problems.”

Despite the stunning match-winning performance Popovic said that Castelen is still not at 100%.

“He’s been playing well,” said Popovic.

“He had a set back with an injury (in October) which is a shame for him, but he’s getting stronger each game.”

That Romeo Castelen can and probably will play even better will be a scary thought for any Western Sydney opposition.

What’s not in doubt is that the Wanderers will be hoping their flying Dutchman can continue his fine form when they go up against Glory in Perth next Saturday night – otherwise they’ll be calling “wherefore art thou Romeo?”

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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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