Popovic confident of February turnaround

Western Sydney Wanderers FC coach Tony Popovic says he won’t accept any of his players feeling sorry for themselves after another encouraging performance ended in defeat.

Wanderers slightly had the better of Tuesday night’s clash with high-flying Melbourne Victory but were undone by two great goals in going down 2-1 at Pirtek Stadium on Tuesday night.

That’s now 12 games without a win for the Wanderers, who remain last heading into a three-week break for the Asian Cup.

“There’s no ‘unlucky’ or ‘it will get better’ we have to make sure we get better,” Popovic said post-match.

“We know the margin is very small for us turning this around because we’re playing well and it’s up to us to change it. And we will change it.

“From February we will change it. These few weeks will make a big difference for our club.

“We’ve never been about excuses and we will make none now. I know we will definitely be better.”

The Wanderers were the better side early on but found themselves trailing to a brilliant volley by Carl Valeri midway through the first half.

The home side kept probing and equalized through Nick Kalmar 10 minutes after the break but despite creating a host of chances after that, were unable to finish Victory off.

Victory certainly played their part in a quality contest and always looked dangerous on the counter-attack, finally making one count 10 minutes from the end through Gui Finkler.

"I seem to be saying the same things here each week," Popovic said.

"I've never lacked belief in what I am doing and I don't lose belief after watching that. But we are in a business of points and at the moment we haven't got many.

"But … I am proud to watch that performance. We are evolving as a team and playing better. Unfortunately in both boxes we are not ruthless enough.

“We were well on top but we didn’t put away the opportunities we had. At 1-1 I only thought there would be one winner. The effort’s there, the commitments there, the beliefs there but the small details in both boxes in the thing that is missing.”

Victory certainly played their part in a quality contest and always looked dangerous on the counter-attack, finally making one count 10 minutes from the end through Gui Finkler.

Nikita Rukavytsya was the most dangerous player for the Wanderers but every time he got into a good position either fluffed his pass or forced Nathan Coe into a good save.

“I just feel for him,” Popovic said of Rukavytsya.

“He got in the box behind the fullback five times, it could be more, and when you get in those positions we want end product.

“The lead up play is excellent and he’s a big part of that the way he runs in behind and the way he takes people on.

“I would have loved to have seen him get a goal and I’m sure he would too. He’s getting better and better, he’s just missing the one goal that goes in.”