Looming finals headache for Popovic

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Denied any chance of a home final after a goalless stalemate with Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers now face a finals foray plagued by travel.

With their last regular game of the season away to Adelaide, the Wanderers will travel to either Melbourne or Brisbane in week one of the finals before a trip to Japan for an Asian Champions League group game against Urawa Reds.

But despite the complication of travel, coach Tony Popovic isn’t too concerned about missing out on a home final perhaps happy to simply be there after a slumberous start to the season.

“I don’t think any of those places matter for us,” Popovic said when asked about whether he minds where his side finish in the top six.

“You have win three games to win it. So yes if you finish third or fourth there is the added bonus of a home final but we were never guaranteed of that, we needed other results to go our way.

“If we keep playing this way I’m sure we’ll give a good account of ourselves in the finals.”

Despite Victory defender Daniel Georgievski being shown a second yellow card in the 54th minute, Tony Popovic’s men couldn’t make the most of the numerical advantage.

“We could have had more out of the game that’s for sure,” he said post-game.

“That’s the first time we’ve played against ten men this year and if we get another chance I’m sure we’ll deal with it a bit better.

“On another day you can win that game comfortably. We’ve got to learn from it and move on quickly.”

With his side’s spot in the finals is secured and the Wanderers hosting FC Seoul midweek, Popovic insisted their last regular game of the A-League season against Adelaide United won’t be discounted.

“I don’t think at this club we can view any game as not important,” he said.

“We want to win every game we can, every game we can and that game in Adelaide will be no different. “

For Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory the result sees them winless and goalless from their last three games with the coach debating the very notion of form and how his side sit heading into finals.

“In my circumstances I’ll say 26 games but you’re going to say four but finals are different and you’re right,” he said.

“You’ve got to get to that point competing and playing to the best of your abilities because any thing short and you won’t have any success.

“You’ve got to get into finals playing some decent stuff and I thought we were decent tonight.”

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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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