Western Sydney Wanderers boss Tony Popovic felt his side’s inability to cash-in on their excellent start cost them a win in Saturday night’s epic Sydney Derby.
The Wanderers dominated the early stages of the clash with Sydney FC, scoring an early goal by Dario Vidosic as well as squandering a couple more excellent chances.
And they were made to pay for their profligacy, the Sky Blues turning the tide and getting an equaliser after Scott Jamieson’s unfortunate own goal just before half-time.
“We were excellent at the start which was good to see, a very good reaction from last week,” Popovic said.
“We had them for a period there at 1-0 where they [Sydney FC] looked very vulnerable and nervous. We probably missed the moment there to put them away.
“They then scored and probably gained some confidence and belief again. In the end it’s an away point and we stay six clear of them.”
“We thought maybe they would come out of the blocks a bit quicker but maybe that’s credit to us,” he added.
“We controlled the game form the outset, deserved our lead, and it would have been nice to get a second one and I’m sure we would have gone on to win the game.”
Popovic threw up a selection shock before kick-off, dropping keeper Andrew Redmayne in favour of Liam Reddy, while Brendan Hamill started at centre-back despite not playing an A-League game since October.
But the pair were both excellent and came up with some big plays in a see-sawing contest after half-time.
The Wanderers boss praised the raucous atmosphere inside Allianz Stadium and believes the draw is better for his side than the hosts.
“Whenever you come away from home to Sydney, they are expected to be at the top, that’s their expectation,” Popovic said.
“It’s a very good point. We dominated possession, maybe on another day we could have done better with it but that’s us evolving and maybe we’ll do it better next time.
“If we play them in the finals, maybe we’ll execute that possession better and finish the chances off.”
There was speculation in the build-up to the match that Wanderers skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley could be the subject of a big-money move to the Chinese Super League.
“I don’t know about that interest. You could write about speculation every day but that’s all it is,” Popovic said.
“We haven’t heard anything, there’s nothing concrete for the player. So if it’s just speculation maybe tomorrow you can talk about Mitch Nichols or Bridgey and put that in the paper because I’m sure there’s speculation about them as well.”
The Wanderers are at home next, taking on the in-form Perth Glory on Friday night.