Wanderers over heartbreak and ready for Hiroshima

Tony Popovic says morale is good in the Western Sydney camp as they prepare to face Sanfrecce Hiroshima tonight.

Tony Popovic says morale is good in the Western Sydney camp as they prepare to face Sanfrecce Hiroshima tonight.

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The Wanderers lost the A-League Grand Final 2-1 to Brisbane Roar on Sunday, but had no time to process their disappointment before jetting off to Japan for the first leg of their AFC Champions League round-of-16 clash with the J-League champions.

Addressing the media ahead of the game, Popovic was asked about the mood within the travelling squad after such a bitter defeat.

"Today it's much better. Of course, it was difficult to lose in a final, to lose in extra-time," he said.

"We played a very good match but unfortunately, sometimes you don't get the result you deserve. But we're really looking forward to this.

"It's a great challenge for us physically and mentally. We're not here to make any excuses. We want to put on a good performance here to set us up with a good opportunity to go through."

Western Sydney's club captain Michael Beauchamp didn't feature in the Grand Final, and is one of a handful of players who will be full of energy for the game at EDION Stadium.

"Physically we are very ready," he said.

"Going back many months we had a very tough pre-season which has set us for these important games now. Mentally, as a whole, the squad are very strong. And you'll see that tomorrow.

"Obviously they're the champions of the J-League the last two seasons, we understand it's going to be a great challenge for us. We're looking forward to it."

Popovic, a former Sanfrecce player, will be going head to head with the man who skippered the club during his spell with the team in the late 90s and turn of the new millennium.

"Personally, it's a very good game for me, to come back to my old club," he said.

"There's some old faces that I see. Also again Moriyasu-san, who was my captain when I first came here. I'm very happy to see he's doing well. And the club has done very well the last two years.

"But we have to put our friendship aside tomorrow and we'll do our best to get a result."