Beauchamp content playing Wanderers role

Having gone from first team regular last season to something of a bit-part player this year, you would forgive Michael Beauchamp for knocking on coach Tony Popovic's door looking for answers.

The experienced central defender played a crucial role in the Wanderers' stunning debut campaign, leading the club to the Premiers' Plate and grand final appearance last season.

But it's been a different story for Beauchamp this season, restricted to just nine appearances as he's fallen victim to Popovic's rotation policy and the form of Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic.

The 32-year-old concedes he's given up trying to predict what Popovic has planned each week and says while he is disappointed at not being a regular anymore, it's par for the course at the Wanderers.

"It's too hard to try and get inside his (Popovic) head," Beauchamp told reporters on Friday.

"For us we just go on to the training park and always give 100 per cent and when the final XI gets announced for the weekend's game you always know that the boys are ready for it.

"I'm just taking it as it comes, I could be out this week or next week...it's one of those things and you just have to get on with the job.

"I'm still turning up giving 100 per cent and backing the boys all the way. It's never easy to sit on the sidelines. That's just being the player I am. I want to play every game.

"You can give up and kick stones and bring the team down or you can get on with the job. It's not about one player it's about the team as a whole.

"Things can change in the blink of an eye and you've just got to be ready for those times you get on the pitch."

If Beauchamp is clueless to what his manager has in store each week it's understandable given Popovic himself admits he doesn't know what he's thinking most of the time either.

The Wanderers boss has come in for criticism in some quarters this season for his constant changes and has yet to pick the same starting side two games in a row all season.

But with the Wanderers beginning to find their groove and well-placed in second spot on the A-League ladder, Popovic made no apologies for his rotation policy.

"Well I don't even know what's going on in my head so it might be a little bit difficult for the players," Popovic said.

"But there's a clear plan and a view and I know exactly the direction I want the team to go.

"You refer to changes as rotation, that's your decision to call it that way.

"I don't have to answer to anyone but my bosses here at the club and as long as they are happy I'm doing a good job that's all I have to worry about.

"But I have a clear view on what and how we're doing and I'm very comfortable with it."

Given their performance in dismantling Perth last weekend, it would be easy for Popovic to stick with the same side for Saturday night's trip to Newcastle.

But with Tomi Juric and Adam D'Apuzzo both returning from suspension, he wasn't sure if that would be the case.

Spiranovic's superb performance in midfield could tempt Popovic to keep the 25-year-old there, especially with Mateo Poljak and Iacopo La Rocca still out injured.

It should also mean Beauchamp retains his spot and the skipper's armband.

Asked how he felt the Wanderers were tracking this season compared to last, Beauchamp said: "Better I think in the sense that everyone knows what job is.

"This time last year we were on a roll at this time of the season. Coming off the two recent losses but then having the win on the weekend shows where we are as a team.

"We played some great football, that first 45 was the best we've played in a long time if we can do that for 80 or 90 minutes we'll be unstoppable."


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