Football 2 years ago

Popovic takes positives from Roar defeat

  • Popovic takes positives from Roar defeat

His completely revamped Western Sydney Wanderers slumped to the same disappointing result in their first A-League test, but coach Tony Popovic won't be discouraged.

A string of missed chances coupled with dismal defending was enough for the Wanderers to self-destruct against visitors Brisbane Roar at Pirtek Stadium on Thursday night, meaning the young franchise is still yet to clock a single opening-round win.

The 3-1 scoreline would not have done much for the confidence for the seven new faces in Popovic's starting XI - nor the others watching from the sidelines - as the brave new world of aesthetic possession-based football came at a crucial cost.

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But the meticulous mentor saw the positives, citing the opportunities created and noting that his contingent of new signings will take time to gel.

"All the players in general will take a lot from that," Popovic said.

"We're disappointed we lost, of course we are.

"It's a new group, a lot of players are lacking that match fitness that they need.

"We've a lot of players still to come back in, and the players that did come on, they're still short of match fitness.

"But the promising thing is we had the opportunities, we created the opportunities.

"Once we start converting it will make a big difference."

The Wanderers had to make do without one of their new Spanish trio, Alberto, who twisted his ankle the day before, while marquee Federico Piovaccari had little impact.

The Italian striker missed chance after chance in the first half, while mainstay centre-back Nikolai Topor-Stanley botched an easy one of his own in a match where new Roar striker Jamie Maclaren netted a brace and Daniel Bowles added another.

"We got into their box on numerous occasions, just couldn't finish it off," Popovic said.

"We're totally on top and against the run of play we make an error and concede.

"When we equalised, again you're dominating. (Then) a set play, you concede.

"Then you miss a sitter, and they go down the other end. Set play, you concede.

"That was the story of the game.

"We'll take a lot of positives from how we played, we've just got to tidy up in certain areas and make sure we don't give the opposition easy goals - make them earn their chances."

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