Squad overhaul no excuse – Popovic

As they chase instant results in the Hyundai A-League, Tony Popovic says Western Sydney Wanderers can’t use their many off-season personnel changes as an excuse.

Wanderers travel to Adelaide to take on the Reds on Friday night coming off a 3-1 loss to Brisbane Roar in their season-opener.

It’s been an off-season of change at Wanderland with more than a dozen new faces coming in to the squad.

“We haven’t hidden away from the fact it will take time,” Popovic said.

“It’s a work in progress but that’s not an excuse that we don’t expect results as well.

“We were disappointed to lose that home game – we know why the goals were scored. There was a lot of errors on our behalf but they are things that can be fixed.

“We played some good passages throughout the match and created some good opportunities, now it’s about improving and taken the next step.

 “I want a result (on Friday night) against Adelaide. It is a new group, it will take time to be where we want to be but we’re good enough to win along this journey as well.”

The red and black were their own worst enemy against Roar, conceding three sloppy goals including two from corners.

Popovic admitted they have analysed their set-piece defending this week, especially with dead-ball specialist Marcelo Carrusca in the Reds side.

“Set pieces are something you want to be scoring when you have your own ones but defensively you want to be rock solid,” Popovic said.

“They are little details we’ve had a look at this week, something we need to do better.

“(Adelaide) are a very good team, they have a lot of stability in their squad and play good football. We know they have some dangerous players but this week you’ll see our dangerous players cause them some problems as well.”

One player the Wanderers may call on is marquee signing Dario Vidosic.

The ex-Adelaide playmaker came off the bench against the Roar as he works towards full fitness. Popovic said Vidosic would travel with the squad but wouldn’t guarantee the 28-year-old would play.

Vidosic says he’s looking forward to getting back to Adelaide but conceded his fitness is still not where it needs to be.

“Every footballer wants to play,” he said.

“Even if you’re injured and can’t get up you still want to play and I’m no different.

“I want to play every minute, every day at training. But there’s a time that we need to make sure everything is right, not just what’s best for myself but best for the team as well.

“It will be special to go back to Adelaide. I had a fantastic time there, I left quite successful at the end and there’s still a lot of friends there.”

The Wanderers could be boosted by the inclusion of defender Alberto for the match, with the Spaniard named in the squad on Thursday. He is likely to come straight in to partner skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley at centre-back.