Popovic gets Wanderers vote of confidence

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April 02, 2015 11:45:36 UK

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic.

Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed coach Tony Popovic will be staying as coach for next season despite their struggles this term.

Club owner Paul Lederer has given Popovic, who was named AFC coach of the year last year, a vote of confidence ahead of Friday’s home clash with Melbourne City, where Wanderers are 3.10 to secure the win.

Popovic’s success in his first two seasons in charge mean Lederer still has faith in him to at least see out the remaining year of his contract.

Wanderers won the premiership in their inaugural A-League season of 2012-13 and finished second last season, losing in the Grand Final both times. They became the first Australian side to win the Asian Champions League in December when they beat Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal in the final.

Western Sydney are 10.00 to beat Melbourne City 1-0.

Brisbane Roar sacked coach Mike Mulvey, who had led the club to the premiership and championship in 2013-14, just six games into this season after a run of one win and five defeats.

That decision hasn’t proved as inspired as the Roar hoped, as they are set to miss out on the finals, and Lederer doesn’t see any need for Wanderers to dispense with Popovic in a search for an improvement in fortunes.

After such success in their first two years, he admits this season has been “nothing short of a disaster”, but says that’s because they have had to play too many games.

“I expect Tony to be there next season, absolutely. I’m very happy with him; no problem at all,” said Lederer.

“The fundamental problem is that you have a squad that can’t play the games demanded of it. Very few teams in the world have those demands placed upon them.

“You’re asking a human being to play every three days, it can’t be done. The bottom line is that 10 games in 35 days, with all the travel, is asking for trouble.”

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