Tony Popovic has his fingers crossed for positive news today (Tuesday) surrounding the injury to winger Romeo Castelen but remains upbeat results will turn for his win-less Wanderers.
The Dutch winger lasted just eight minutes of Saturday night’s derby defeat to Sydney FC before he was forced off with a hamstring injury.
It was a hammer blow for the 2014 Asian Champions as Castelen was already causing the Sky Blues havoc down the right and has been one their most dangerous players so far this season.
“All reports are it’s a two or three-week injury,” Popovic told reporters on Tuesday.
“We’ll get the scan results later today and they will confirm that and we hope that they will confirm that and he’ll only be out for a short time.
“There’s no issue with [right-back Scott] Neville. His injury was more back related…it was just a precaution to take him off and I expect him to be available [against Perth Glory on Sunday].”
The Wanderers remain winless after the first three rounds and are propping up the Hyundai A-League ladder.
It’s drawn comparisons to last season when they club lost their first four matches of the season, either side of their stunning Asian Champions League triumph.
But Popovic dismissed a sense of déjà vu with their disappointing 2014/15 Hyundai A-League campaign.
“There’s only one player [skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley] that’s played the first three games that was here last year. It’s a whole new group,” Popovic said.
“There’s no history for these players whether it’s the poor A-League season and there’s no history in terms of them winning the Asian Champions League either.
“It’s new, it’s fresh, and we can see its building. I’m delighted with how they are performing. I can’t be disappointed with what I’m seeing on the field.
“The way we’re playing I wouldn’t be afraid to play anyone at the moment.”
The return form injury of key attacker Mark Bridge will also help.
After seven weeks out, Bridge was on the bench against the Sky Blues and is hoping to be more involved against Glory at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday.
The 29-year-old says the mood in the camp is still positive.
“If we were playing poorly you would [feel pressure] but we’re not playing poorly.
"The performances are good it’s just the final pass or final product which is costing us at the moment,” Bridge said.
“Of course we’re unhappy we haven’t got a win yet but we’re confident in our ability as a team and as a group that’ it’s coming soon.
“We’ve seen how well we’re training. We see how well we are performing on the weekend, it’s just a matter of the final pass and the goals and once they come it’s going to be good.”