Popovic praises players after defeat

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In yet more disappointment at home, the Western Sydney Wanderers were handed a heavy 3-0 defeat by a far more clinical Melbourne Victory side at ANZ Stadium.

Having dominated periods of the game, holding 55 percent of possession and unleashing 18 shots, Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic felt his players gave it their all.

“We can’t ask too much more from the players. They keep getting better every week,” he said post-match.

Despite having 18 shots, only five of these were on target with starting striker Brendon Santalab unusually off his game in front of goal.

“Brendon Santalab is a very good player, he was last week, he was today and he will be next week. Today he’s the perfect person you want the chance to fall to, unfortunately they didn’t go for him,” Popovic said.

One striker who was firing was Besart Berisha, claiming all three of Victory’s goals in a commanding performance and Popovic not afraid to compliment the player.

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“He was a top player, always has been and while he’s here, always will be,” he said.

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat was similarly full of praise for Berisha who had previously come under some criticism.

“Write him off again during the week if you can because he loves it. He gets kicked from pillar to post and he just gets on with it.

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I could see the fire in his eyes tonight. The expectation he’s created is unprecedented,” Muscat said.

Happy to get the result after disappointment last week, Muscat was able to appreciate his opposition describing Nicolas Martinez as an ‘outstanding individual’ and admitting the Wanderers caused some problems for his defence.

Though again not the result Popovic was hoping for, he remained optimistic after the defeat.

“We were actually better tonight than last time we played them.

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For me, it’s about the performance, the results will come. We’ve been defending much better and limiting our mistakes. There’s not a lot wrong but obviously we’re not in the position we want to be,” he said.

Asked about Andrew Redmayne’s performance and the circumstances of the Victory’s opening goal, Popovic was forthright.

“That’s unfortunately how it’s going at the moment,” he said.

Clinging to a spot in the top six, he’ll certainly be hoping for a change in fortunes sooner rather than later.

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Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas
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.

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