Popovic’s subtle dig at Arnie’s Wanderers jibe

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has refused to buy in to the Sydney Derby trash talk of Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold and his "mansion" comments. Well, almost.

On Thursday, Arnold lit the fuse ahead of Sydney’s blockbuster on Saturday night, suggesting Wanderers’ facilities were poor and the reigning Asian Champions were Sydney FC’s ‘younger’ brother in the Harbour City.

"The Wanderers are trying to get to where Sydney FC is in terms of the size of the club, but also the training facilities and everything," said Arnold. 

"The Wanderers are new, they're young…as I said last year, they are our younger brothers down the road and we've got to make sure we show that we’re the bigger club and the elder statesman.

"We go out to their little shed [at Pirtek Stadium] and there's only 16,000-19,000 out there.

"It's a one-night opportunity for the Wanderers to come out and come to the big city of Sydney, but also to our mansion.”

Sky Blues fans get behind their team at Allianz Stadium.

A smiling and relaxed Popovic refused to get involved when speaking to reporters on Friday. 

Although he had a subtle dig back suggesting it would be the red and black fans who’d be filling Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

“This club is accustomed to playing big games and winning big trophies,” Popovic said of the reigning champions of Asia.

“And we’re looking forward to seeing our great fans who’ll help fill the stadium.”

Of the 40,000 plus fans, expect it to be split almost evenly between both sets of fans. 

Tony Popovic

As for Arnold’s banter, Popovic said it was his counterpart’s style to get into the media and stir the pot. 

“If it wasn’t for my staff I wouldn’t have even known about what he said. So I found out in the office this morning [Friday]," said Popovic. 

“It doesn’t matter to us what they’re doing or what he’s saying.

“I don’t listen much to anyone! 

"So it wouldn’t matter if it was Arnie. You just laugh it off and move on.”

The Wanderers coach added: “We’re neighbours and we want to beat each other. And we want to get our fourth [derby] win tomorrow.”