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Popovic staying positive

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said he saw plenty of positives in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The Wanderers looked likely to grind out another 0-0 draw following their opening-round stalemate against Central Coast Mariners last week.

However, the Wanderers were caught on the counter to a 69th-minute goal from the Reds’ Argentine forward Jeronimo Neumann, who sealed a narrow three points for the hosts.

Popovic admitted the result was hard to swallow after seeing his side’s impressive grit and fight for 90 minutes, but said there were further signs his young team are gelling and growing.

“There are good signs and certainly positives to take from the game …. (considering) we came up against a good side, a very match-hardened side,” Popovic said.

“They have played a lot of big games so they probably had an edge on us in that department.

“It was a disappointing goal from our point of view (to concede on the counter-attack) … but we have to learn from that quickly and move forward.

“There were good patches there we looked solid, I just think our final ball and final third needs to improve.

“Of course we don’t like that we lost the game but we will go back to Sydney, work hard and keep trying to improve each because it’s still a very new group.

“We’ll go away from it with our heads held high.”

For the second consecutive week, the Wanderers’ attack did not find the back of the net.

The competition’s youngest club only managed to create a few opportunities as they often looked disjointed in the final third.

Popovic said it was frustrating not to see better cohesion up front but remains confident opposition nets will be rattling soon.

“As long we keep creating the chances, the goals will come,” Popovic said.

“The hardest thing in football is to score goals. If it was easy you would see six or seven goals per game.

“We got in some good areas but didn’t quite have the final ball or final combination that was required.

“Some of these players have only been together for two months, some a month, others six weeks while (Shinji) Ono’s just arrived, so it will take time to get those (forward) combinations right.

“If we keep getting in the right areas, I’m confident it will turn and we’ll get the goals that the team deserve.”

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Sat 13 October, 2012
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