Football 3 years ago

Wanderers top A-League as Victory slip

  • Wanderers top A-League as Victory slip

Western Sydney banked a sixth-straight win to take over leadership of the A-League ladder as Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou appealed for a lasting truce in the stoush between fans and administrators.

More fans walked out, or didn't attend games, as the Wanderers replaced Melbourne Victory at the head of the table after round nine.

As fan groups from all 10 clubs prepared for a summit in Sydney this week, Postecoglou used his considerable clout to call for calm.

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"I'm hoping we've got to a point now where there's conciliation between the governing body and the most disenfranchised group in this situation, which is the fans," Postecoglou told the ABC's Offsiders program on Sunday.

"We probably should have got to it a lot earlier.

"I think for the first week the supporters actually handled themselves pretty well.

"The protest of walking out during the game was very effective ... (but) to carry on with this boycott, I've never liked anyone saying that without them, the game doesn't exist. That is just garbage."

His comments came after the latest supporter protests over Football Federation Australia's banning of fans without an appeal process.

While the FFA has promised to review its policy and introduce an appeals system, supporters continued to vent their anger over round nine of the A-League.

The Wanderers' Red and Black Bloc didn't attend their side's 2-1 win against Brisbane.

"They have their grievance (but) we want them back as soon as possible," Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic said.

"Was it noticeable? For me, yes. Of course we would notice they're not there because they create such an amazing atmosphere."

Popovic wants his club's supporter group to return for Wanderers' blockbuster against Melbourne Victory next Saturday night.

Western Sydney (19 points) took pole position from Victory (16 points) who slipped to second after a 2-0 away loss to Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat blasted the shifting, sandy surface at Wellington's QBE Stadium after the loss.

"The last time I checked, grass is a pretty vital ingredient for a football game and unfortunately there was none there today," Muscat said.

Sydney FC (16 points) are third on goal difference after their 1-0 triumph against Newcastle on Friday night, with Brisbane (15 points) in fourth spot.

Melbourne City (14 points) rose to fifth after trouncing Central Coast 5-1 last Thursday while the Phoenix (14 points) round out the top six.

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