Worried Popovic: Juric Socceroo call-up 'a risk'

Western Sydney Wanderers FC coach Tony Popovic is disappointed the injured Tomi Juric has travelled to Europe with the Socceroos, believing it’s too much of a risk for his young striker.

Juric has missed the Wanderers last two games but was still taken to Europe by the Socceroos for upcoming clashes with Germany on Thursday (AEDT) and FYR Macedonia next week.

The Wanderers boss feels there is no chance Juric will be fit enough to face Germany and would be surprised if he made the field for the match in Skopje next Tuesday (AEDT).

"They [FFA] know we would have preferred him not to travel," Popovic told reporters on Tuesday.

"I'm disappointed he's gone because he's travelled as an injured player. We felt it would've been the best choice that he rests up.

"They've taken him on the belief that he'll be fit for the Macedonia game. But from our point of view we can't see him being 100 per cent in terms of playing a full 90 minutes.

"We believe there's an element of risk but we're assured that their medical staff will make sure he doesn't come back injured."

Meanwhile, Popovic said he will give his impressive batch of youngsters another chance to impress in Wednesday night’s rescheduled Hyundai A-League clash against Brisbane Roar.

Popovic used five teenagers in the loss to Newcastle Jets on Saturday with the club battling a mounting injury toll as well as some players battling fatigue from a hectic schedule.

Matthew Spiranovic (hamstring), Brendon Santalab (shoulder), Shannon Cole (collarbone), Brendan Hamill (quad), Mark Bridge (groin), Mateo Poljak (calf) and Nick Ward (knee) are all on the injury list.

Tony Popovic reacts during his side's 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar.

It meant the likes of little-known Steve Kuzmanovski, Jaushua Sotirio, Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Alusine Fofanah and Daniel Alessi got their chance against the Jets and are likely to be called upon again at Suncorp Stadium.

"A few of them might have to start again on Wednesday whether they impressed us or not because of the numbers we have out," Popovic said.

"There'll be a few that have to back up which will be difficult because of their match fitness and where they are in their development.
"But it's part of their education and I'm sure this will make them stronger."

Sotirio is one youngster which won’t back up, away with the Olyroos but skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley is one big name which should return.

The Wanderers’ exploits in Asia and then at the Club World Cup this season means Popovic has already used 34 different players this season.

But Roar aren’t without their issues either, losing Matt McKay, Luke DeVere, Corey Brown and James Donachie to international duty.

Key attacker Henrique could miss the rest of the season following knee surgery, while the games are piling up for Frans Thijssen’s men who are juggling both the Hyundai A-League and ACL.

"They've got a difficult period now in terms of the games they're playing. They're feeling now what we've felt all year," Popovic said of Roar.

"They have players away with the national team as well.

"It's a very important game for them in terms of them wanting to make the top six but it's a very important game for us as well.

"We want to see of there will be a good reaction to Saturday's result and I want to see of some of these young boys can improve their performance."

The clash is vital for both sides for very different reasons. The Wanderers need a win to move off the bottom of the table while Brisbane is eager for all three points to keep in touch with Melbourne City in the race for sixth spot.