Written off and given no chance by many, Western Sydney Wanderers FC coach Tony Popovic is no longer surprised by his side’s ability to defy the odds after a stunning victory in the ACL quarter finals first leg on Wednesday night.
The Wanderers produced one of the biggest wins in the club’s history by knocking off Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande at Parramatta Stadium.
Antony Golec’s goal handed the home side a 1-0 win to take to China for the second leg of the ACL quarter-final tie next week.
Up against the big-budget defending champions and their star-studded line-up, the Wanderers were well worth their victory as they continue to prove the doubters wrong.
“We told you (on Tuesday) we believe we can win. They are not just words, I see the players every day in training and I know the belief they have,” a proud Popovic said.
“I see the effort they are putting in at training and that’s what gives me the confidence the players will give their all and put in a good performance.
“It doesn’t always relate to results but we were confident we could put in a good showing tonight. It’s very pleasing for us that we did."
While they have one foot in the semis, Popovic knows the return leg will be an even bigger test.
“We know it will be difficult but they will be going home tonight expecting a difficult game as well,” Popovic said.
“(The players) know it won’t be easy, we certainly respect them. We’ve seen what they have done to opponents in the league and Champions League.
“There’s no one getting carried away in our change room, we’ve got a slight advantage, we’re just in front at half time but there’s still work to do.”
Defender Daniel Mullen limped off in the first half with a hamstring strain and must be a huge doubt for the trip to China.
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