Wanderers target first A-League hat-trick

December 15, 2012
By Liam FitzGibbon

Milestones continue to fall for impressive A-League rookies Western Sydney and coach Tony Popovic has set his sights on another one this week.

Fresh from their maiden derby win over Sydney FC, Popovic is targeting the club's first hat-trick of wins when they face Adelaide on Friday night.

Popovic declared the 2-0 win over the Sky Blues at Allianz Stadium as one of the club's greatest achievements yet.

It was the second time this season the club has notched back-to-back wins but Popovic wants to raise the bar even higher against an in-form Reds side at Parramatta Stadium.

"It's one step at a time for us but that's back-to-back wins and we've done that twice now," Popovic said.

"Now there's a challenge - can we get another result against a very, very good Adelaide side and can we now put three results together which we haven't done this year?

"That's another challenge for us."

While Popovic is refusing to get carried away with his fourth-placed side, Saturday's win further enhanced the Wanderers' credentials as genuine contenders for a finals spot.

The result strengthened their hold on fourth spot but it was the manner of the win that most impressed Popovic.

After feeling his side had been overawed by the occasion in the inaugural Sydney derby in October, which Sydney FC won 1-0, the Wanderers always looked in control as they turned the tables in front of more than 26,000 fans.

And after taking an early lead they showed no sign of nerves, keeping the pressure on Sydney right until the final whistle.

"It's probably an indication of how far we've come," Popovic said.

"The players didn't think about holding on to the win and looking at the clock and sitting deep and trying to hold out.

"There was a lot of positive play there in the second half.

"Had it been four or five (goals) it wouldn't have been a false result so the way they did that is a credit to the players."

Western Sydney are attempting to become only the second expansion club to reach the finals at their first attempt, behind now-defunct Gold Coast United.