Popovic: Vidosic will be fantastic for Wanderers

Tony Popovic wasn’t fazed by new signing Dario Vidosic’s unplanned debut this week, believing the fringe Socceroo will be a “fantastic player” for the club.

The Wanderers announced the 28-year-old attacking midfielder’s capture last week, beating off a handful of other A-League clubs for his signature.

Vidosic travelled with Wanderers to Western Australia this week for their FFA Cup quarter-final against Perth Glory which they lost 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

However, fresh from his return from Europe and a long period without games at Swiss club Sion where he fell out of favour, Popovic only brought Vidosic with the group in order to settle in to the squad.

Vidosic would have sat on the pine had it not been for a quad injury to Brendon Santalab in the warm-up, thrusting him into the matchday squad, before getting 15 minutes late on as the game went to extra-time.

The former Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United man produced some good touches, a shot on goal and also buried a spotkick in the shootout.

“It’s early days for him,” Popovic told FourFourTwo. “He hasn’t played in a while.

“He’ll take some time to get up to speed with what we want.

“There were encouraging signs. He got involved in our build-up, so we know he’ll be a fantastic player for us.”

The Wanderers open the A-League next Thursday at home to Brisbane Roar, with Vidosic in the mix to play, at least off the bench, after his taste of action.

“We just wanted him to come with the team, he’s only been training with us for a week,” Popovic said.

“We wanted him to see how we prepare and to get to know his team-mates a bit better which helps when you’re away.”

Glory coach Kenny Lowe was glowing in his praise of Wanderers on Tuesday night.

“They are a very, very, very good team,” he said. “They’ve got some good players. They’re going to be a force. They’re well organised.”

Popovic added he was enthused by his side’s signs in pre-season, with hopes for a return to title contention after their struggles amid a number of competitions in 2014-15.

“We will keep getting better and better all over the park,” Popovic said.

“It’d be hard to argue that wasn’t a very good performance on Tuesday.

“You’re coming away from home, it’s a cup game, it’s in pre-season, from the start you dominate the match.

 “They’re encouraging signs for us.”