Wanderers don't surprise Burns

Western Sydney Wanderers' strong start to their inaugural A-League season may have come as a surprise to many, but not to Perth Glory skipper Jacob Burns.

Western Sydney Wanderers' strong start to their inaugural A-League season may have come as a surprise to many, but not to Perth Glory skipper Jacob Burns.

Born and raised in Sydney's western suburbs, the combative midfielder played for local side Sydney Croatia alongside Wanderers' management duo Tony Popovic and Ante Milicic, thereby gaining the inside track on what to expect from the new club on the block.

"I'm from out that way and played my junior football there," Burns said.

"And it's always been a really strong football area.

"It's fantastic to see that they now have a team they can call their own.

"They've been going really well and the crowds have been going out there in great numbers and it's just what the A-League needed to be honest.

"When I was a young kid coming through, Popovic was my first captain at Sydney Croatia back in the day and Ante Milicic was a teammate as well.

"I know how good and professional they were as players and I'm sure they've taken that into their approach as manager and assistant manager.

"So I'm not surprised that they're doing as well as they are.

"Popa's a very shrewd and very thorough coach, just as he was as a player.

"I've actually spoken first hand to a few of the boys in their squad and they've been very impressed with the training sessions and how the coaching staff have gone about their business.

"Having someone to really lead a new club is half the battle sometimes and I think they will be very competitive."

Unfortunately for Burns, a quadricep injury will prevent him from featuring against the Wanderers when they take on Glory at nib Stadium on Sunday, but the 34-year-old is targeting next weekend's home clash with Wellington for his return to action.

"The rehab's gone really well," he said.

"I'm ahead of schedule and if the game was a couple of days later, I would have been involved.

"But it's probably better to err on the side of caution, look at the bigger picture and get more of next week's sessions into me before going into the Wellington game.

"I hate to miss any game or even any training session to be honest.

"I'm not much of a spectator, that's for sure.

"I'm much more comfortable being out there amongst it in the middle of the pitch."

Burns' battle with Wanderers' marquee signing Shinji Ono would have been one to savour had the former Leeds man not been sidelined by injury.

But although he has been impressed by the red and blacks' early-season performances, he remains confident that Glory will chalk up a fourth successive home win of the season to cement their position among the league's front-runners.

"Western Sydney have got a good group of young players coming through," he said.

"Plus international talent like Shinji Ono who I think, in the last couple of weeks, has really shown his experience and class.

"But we're very strong at home and are sitting higher up the table after facing some very tough opposition.

"Especially at home, we've been fantastic in the way we've played, creating so many chances going forward.

"I think we should respect the calibre of opposition, but in saying that, I think we should be looking to play in very much the same manner that we have done both this season and in pre-season, take the game to them and get the three points."