Popa wants to “reward” Glory with maiden Hyundai A-League silverware
They aren’t getting complement but Perth Glory manager Tony Popovic says he’d “love” to reward the club with a Hyundai A-League Premiership and the accompanying AFC Champions League slot.
Perth extended their lead over second-placed Sydney FC to nine points with their 2-0 win over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday night to put them within touching distance of the Premiers Plate.
It would be their first piece of silverware in the Hyundai A-League era and would also grant them an automatic AFC Champions League place, a competition they have never competed in.
Popovic said it would be a just reward for everyone at the West Australian outfit.
“I did mention during the week that I’d love to reward the club, the owner and everyone involved and be part of something special as a football club, Perth Glory in the Champions League,” Popovic said post-match.
“We have an owner that’s put a lot of money into the club and this could be a great reward for him and all the other people that have gone through years and years of supporting and backing Perth Glory. This could be something special for them.”
Popovic, in his first season across the Nullarbor, has fielded countless questions regarding any supposed complacency surrounding his side.
When asked again in the wake of Glory’s triumph over the Reds, Popovic said the squad’s consistency would take care of any complacent thoughts that begin to creep in.
"We look forward to every match and this group, as I said earlier, the consistency is there so there is no thought in my mind about complacency,” he said.
“When I see them train every day there’s no reason to even suggest it to the players, to search for it, because it’s not there.
“We go out and we train hard, we want to keep playing well and at the moment that’s clearly what we’re doing.”
Kurz keeping the faith
While Perth were able tor bring Andy Keogh off the bench to score his 13th goal of the season, Adelaide have struggled for depth as a raft of injuries continues to plague their campaign.
While Michael Jakobsen and Nikola Mileusnic returned from injury on Friday night, the Reds are still missing key trio Jordan Elsey, Ben Halloran and marquee striker Baba Diawara.
Despite the injuries and the fact the Reds could fall to sixth place by Sunday night, Marko Kurz said he still had faith in his side.
“I know it’s a dangerous situation, not easy to handle but I trust the boys,” Kurz told reporters post-match.
“I know it’s hard work, we must find the way back but I still believe and trust in our quality.
“At the moment they [Perth] don’t miss key players. We missed Elsey, we missed Halloran, we’ve missed for the whole season a marquee striker.
“In the end we have to perform better and today was a little bit too easy but the boys are humans, not machines.”