AAP Soccer

Glory keen to give Popovic an AL title

By AAP Newswire

The trophy cabinet of Tony Popovic is missing an important prize, and Perth Glory players have vowed to help him fill it.

Popovic has established himself as one of the A-League's most successful coaches.

During his time with the Western Sydney Wanderers, Popovic won the 2012/13 Premiers Plate and also led the team to Asian Champions League glory in 2014.

But A-League grand finals haven't been kind to Popovic, with the master coach losing all three during his time at the Wanderers.

Popovic has the chance to end that drought on Sunday when he leads Perth Glory against Sydney FC at Optus Stadium.

The former Socceroo has helped transform Glory into the best team in the competition, and many of his players have achieved career-best form under his watch.

Those same players now want to show their thanks by helping Popovic win the A-League Championship.

"He puts so much detail and hard work every day into the team," Glory defender Jason Davidson said.

"To be such a fantastic coach and have such a fantastic trophy cabinet - and not have that grand final - the boys are all looking forward to hopefully giving that to him.

"It would be a way to say thank-you for a fantastic season."

Popovic had a chuckle when asked about his grand final experiences.

"The experience I've got is that I've lost three as a coach," he said.

"But for me it's a privilege and an honour to be in another grand final.

"I have a chance with this great group of players to experience a win. I'm looking forward to it.

"We'll do everything we can in terms of our preparation to have the players ready to step out and produce the performances that I've been seeing every day at training and in games.

"If we do that, I'm very confident that we'll get the outcome that we want."

The Wanderers lost the 2012/13 decider to Central Coast 2-0, and were beaten 2-1 by Brisbane in extra time the following season.

It wasn't a case of third time lucky for Popovic, whose team suffered a 3-1 loss to Adelaide in 2015/16.

"Each experience is different," Popovic reflected.

"This one is different to everything I've had at Wanderers.

"It's a different team, different city, different way of playing, different quality of players - everything is different.

"I don't want to compare any of those with this. This is now. I'm not reflecting on anything that's happened in the past."

Sydney secured their spot in the grand final with a 6-1 demolition of Melbourne Victory.

Perth had a much tougher time in their semi-final win over Adelaide, surviving some major scares during the penalty shootout.