Football 2 years ago

Piovaccari has made a start: Popovic

  • Piovaccari has made a start: Popovic

He won't go as far as declaring the floodgates open for Federico Piovaccari, but Tony Popovic says one goal is at least a start.

The Italian marquee striker finally found the net in the A-League's sixth round, scoring in controversial circumstances in the 3-0 away thrashing of Melbourne City.

Before that he'd been sluggish, missed a few sitters and was even described by Australian goalkeeping great Mark Bosnich as a "disaster".

Piovaccari's performance was vital in the Wanderers' winless opening rounds, when an accurate striker was the only missing link in a team displaying some very convincing build-up play.

But Popovic has persisted with the 31-year-old journeyman, starting the former Internazionale signing in every match.

And he gave every indication he would keep the faith for Saturday's home clash with Wellington.

"It's a start," Popovic said of Piovaccari's goal.

"We've always had faith in him. Whether it came last week or not, it wouldn't have affected us.

"We can't control externally what is said, but you do expect and want your striker to score.

"We knew it was only a matter of time, but it's only one."

Popovic was keen to place the onus to find the scoresheet on the whole team rather than one individual.

"The team have been scoring a lot easier recently and finding the back of the net, getting reward for the good play which we didn't get early on," he said.

"If that continues I'm sure he'll contribute, whether it's on the scoresheet or he'll be involved in a goal for one of his teammates."

The coach was keen to get back to Pirtek Stadium to face the Phoenix after two wins on the road, in a bid to make it four victories from as many games.

"They love being here as much as we do, and together we want to make it very difficult for all teams to come and pick up points," Popovic said.

"We want to continue our good run against a very good team, a team that's in form - I think Ernie (Merrick) is doing a fantastic job with Wellington.

"It'll be a tough match ... (but) if we're at our best we believe that we can get another three points."

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