Tony Popovic said he believed his side had been building towards the emphatic performance they gave in Saturday night's derby win over Sydney FC.
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said he believed his side had been building towards the emphatic performance they gave in Saturday night's derby win over Sydney FC.
In a clear indication there will be no case of second-season syndrome for the A-League's newest club, the Wanderers bullied their local rivals to cruise to a 2-0 win at Allianz Stadium.
After showing glimpses of their potential in back-to-back draws to open the season, the Wanderers finally got a reward for their efforts thanks to first-half goals from Iacopo La Rocca and Shinji Ono.
"We've played well in the first two games (but) just for short periods," a content Popovic said afterwards.
"We knew we were on the right track.
"Derby days are special... you never know how they will go in terms of performance and form goes out the window but it was a real professional, disciplined display.
"Goals change games as well. We scored at a good time, we got a lot of confidence from that and we built on that which is pleasing."
Particularly pleasing for the Wanderers boss was the form of Ono, who was the clear standout in an impressive bunch for the visitors.
The Japanese international set up La Rocca's goal with a pin-point free-kick before doing it all himself for an opportunistic second.
Receiving the ball just outside Sydney's box, Ono chipped the ball over Sebastian Ryall and Tiago Calvano before retrieving the loose ball, swivelling and steering it past Vedran Janjetovic into the net.
"Special, and something we've learn to expect from Shinji," Popovic said of Ono's brilliant strike.
"We know he's got that. All the big games last year he always stepped up and was able to provide the magic.
"That's why he's a special player. Our fans love him, we love him as part of the club and long may that continue.
"He's had a great pre-season and we feel his game is getting better and better."
While delighted to gain bragging rights over their fierce neighbours in front of a record derby crowd of 40,388, Popovic insisted his side will not be getting carried away just yet.
"It's a long season and it's only round three. There's no point us getting too excited about it," he said.
"It's great for our fans though. I'm really pleased... the atmosphere was unbelievable, as good as anything I've seen and better than last year.
"That's credit to both sets of fans. Our fans are special and they go home happy and I'm pleased for them."
Wanderers flyer Youssouf Hersi had to be replaced at half-time with a foot injury and left the stadium on crutches.
Popovic is hopeful it's just an 'impact injury' and not a fracture, which would rule the pacy winger out for a number of weeks.