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Popovic rues missed chances

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic says his side’s inability to convert their chances cost them in their 2-1 loss to Newcastle.

The Wanderers hit the front with an early goal from Joey Gibbs but fell behind at the break after Ryan Griffiths and marquee man Emile Heskey both struck late in the first half.

Popovic’s men dominated the second half of the A-League clash but were unable to find an equaliser despite several gilt-edged chances.

“You’ve got to put away your opportunities, that’s how simple it is,” Popovic said at the post-match press conference.

“We haven’t been outplayed by anyone in this league so far. We’ve been in every single match.

“Today’s probably some of the best football we’ve played this season and we came away with nothing from the game.”

Popovic said a 15-minute lapse in the first half also proved costly.

“It just shows you that you can dominate a match and sometimes you don’t get the rewards you deserve and you’ve got to try and limit those mistakes that you make or limit those bad periods,” he said.

“We’ve got to make those bad periods smaller and smaller.

“I felt overall we certainly deserved something from the game – if not three points.

“Performance-wise we can see the improvements and there’s a lot more to come from that group.”

Marquee man Shinji Ono was a standout for the hosts in a losing cause, setting up his side’s only goal and terrorising the Jets’ defence throughout.

“He was good, especially early on was probably the best he’s been at the start of the game,” Popovic said of the Japanese superstar.

“His passing range and creativity was there for everyone to see and it’s a shame he didn’t get the goal in the second half because he certainly deserved a goal today.”

Meanwhile, Popovic confirmed skipper Michael Beauchamp was a late withdrawal due to a virus but is confident the veteran will be back to face the Glory in Perth next Sunday.

Sat 10 Nov, 2012
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