Popovic frustrated as Wanderers left to rue missed chances

Western Sydney Wanderers boss Tony Popovic admits Saturday night’s last-gasp derby defeat is difficult to swallow for his side.

The Wanderers were made to pay for some poor finishing and a couple of lapses of concentration at the back to go down 2-1 to their fierce rivals Sydney FC at Pirtek Stadium.

“It’s another derby defeat, and it’s in the last minute so of course it’s difficult to take,” a dejected Popovic said.

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“We had clear chances, not good chances. Crystal-clear.

“We didn’t take advantage of our domination of the game and in the end we got punished.”

Wanderers players look on following their 2-1 defeat to Sydney FC.

The Wanderers were sunk by two set-pieces, with Jacques Faty scoring from a corner in the first-half, while Shane Smeltz’s late winner came after the home side failed to deal with a free-kick.

“It’s just concentration. It’s something that, we had a little problem with in round one against Brisbane but I think we’ve rectified that and been very good defensively on set plays,” Popovic said.

“But today we got punished. Their first time into our box and they scored in the first half. And pretty much the same in the second, so we got punished twice.”

The result means the Wanderers have now gone six games – and more than two years – since winning a derby against the Sky Blues.

Popovic scoffed at suggestions the Sky Blues are becoming the Wanderers’ ‘bogey’ team, confident the tide will turn very soon.

“If we keep playing the way we’re playing, the derby results will turn. The recent results against Sydney are not based us being outplayed or outperformed, or any of the above,” the Wanderers boss said.

“It’s not falling for us at the moment on that day but nothing will change with us.

“We’ll continue playing the way we are. We’ll keep trying to control the game, and I know that will turn for us by doing that.”

After going 10 games without a defeat, the Wanderers have now lost two in a row for the first time this season.

They get a chance to put things right next Saturday night when they head to Gosford to play Luis Garcia and the Mariners.