Popovic: We’re not panicking

Western Sydney Wanderers FC boss Tony Popovic is refusing to panic about his side’s Hyundai A-League finals hopes despite slumping to another defeat on Wednesday night.

The Wanderers remain winless and on the bottom of the ladder following their 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar at a wet Pirtek Stadium.

“It’s not about getting nervous,” a frustrated Popovic said afterwards.

“I don’t like losing any game, I don’t like drawing any game. If you look at it from that perspective I‘m not that happy at all.

“But I’m not going to sit here and lie to the players, their effort again was tremendous. They had chances, dominated a game of football but you can’t lose belief when you see them perform this way in the last four games.

“Are we happy with the results, no certainly not but I can’t lie to them and say ‘you’re playing crap and losing games’. We’re playing well and we have to keep that belief and go to Adelaide. If we can perform again we have to believe we can get that win.”

After starting the season with four straight defeats on the road – either side of their ACL triumph – Popovic said it would be best to judge his side after their four straight home matches.

That run has ended with just three points and plenty of work still to do over the last two thirds of the season just to make the top six.

“The last four games we’ve been the better team in all four but the reality is its three points out of four games,” Popovic said.

“At the moment we’re getting punished for every mistake. One mistake tonight and they got a goal for it.

“We’re going through a patch with that. That’s not to say we’re not playing well enough to win but were not winning games.”

The Wanderers were undone by an early penalty after a silly foul by left-back Seyi Adeleke, with last season’s grand final nemesis Henrique coolly converting from the spot.

It was a similar story for the home side, who created a number of good opportunities but failed to show the required composure to finish it off.

“Hindsight’s easy. It’s a split-second decision when you shoot but the boys have confidence (in front of goal),” the Wanderers boss said.

“Usually when a striker scores you see that doesn’t matter how he shoots the next three or four go in.

“We just need one to somehow go over the line then things will probably be a bit different then.”

Popovic revealed it was hamstring tightness which forced in-form striker Tomi Juric to only have a watching brief from the stands, while he praised the performance of midfielder Kearyn Baccus on his first start in the Hyundai A-League.