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Popovic sends warning to mate

Date

Alex Rowe

Long-time friends ... Tony Popovic in 2006 as a Socceroos defender (bottom middle) with assistant coach Graham Arnold (top right) at the World Cup finals in Germany.

Long-time friends ... Tony Popovic in 2006 as a Socceroos defender (bottom middle) with assistant coach Graham Arnold (top right) at the World Cup finals in Germany. Photo: Getty Images

DESPITE not contacting his friend and mentor all week, Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic has sent a message to Central Coast coach, and this week's adversary, Graham Arnold: ''He'll be in for a tough game.''

The Wanderers tackle the competition leaders at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday and Popovic is confident in his team's ability to thwart the title favourites in front of what is expected to be a parochial crowd of 15,000.

''You're playing a team that's top of the table and is the most consistent team in the league,'' Popovic said. ''It certainly is a test but we're at home, we'll have our fans behind us, we have a group of players that are very confident and have a lot of belief in each other. But we also know that if we're not at our best it will be difficult to get a result.

''We're pretty comfortable with the type of football we're playing. Arnie has his assessment of our team. One thing for sure, he knows he'll be in for a tough game.''

Popovic, who also played under Arnold in the Socceroos, revealed he had frequently utilised his friend's reservoir of knowledge throughout the season, but had found information harder to come by this week.

''He hasn't given me any advice this week, but I'm sure we'll be back on the phone with each other next week and all will be back to normal,'' Popovic said. ''I have the utmost respect for Arnie, we've been through a lot together … in terms of playing when I first started out.

''Now in coaching, he's someone that I spoke to a fair bit before I took on this job and he's always been there to lend some advice.

''He does have 15 years of coaching experience and he's always been someone there that I can have a chat with at any time.''

Popovic and the Wanderers will have fresh memories of his first outing as an A-League coach during his side's brave 0-0 draw in round one.

''We've certainly improved since that day and I'm sure Central Coast have also improved. That was a special day,'' he said.

''Our first ever match here in the A-League, a day we'll always remember. But a lot has happened since then. We've certainly improved as a club, as a team on the park.''

Although Central Coast enter the round two points clear on top of the A-league table, Arnold rated the Wanderers franchise as probably the competition's form team.

The Wanderers have won four and drawn one of their last five games, while the Mariners have won eight and lost just one of their past 11. Arnold, who described Popovic this week as like a ''little brother'', never doubted his former national squad teammate would make a good coach.

''He's obsessed by the sport, he's a real student of the game and it was no surprise that he would do this type of job down at Western Sydney,'' Arnold said.

Mariners captain John Hutchinson and leading goal scorer Daniel McBreen return from suspension but Central Coast will be without Patrick Zwaanswijk (groin), Tomas Rogic (suspension) and James Oates (ankle).

Defender Adam D'Apuzzo should feature in the match, but it depends on how he pulls up after Saturday's training session.

Captain Michael Beauchamp and Youssouf Hersi are unavailable, with Tahj Minniecon also likely to miss the match with a foot injury.

Midfield playmaker Aaron Mooy returns from suspension while centre-back Nikolai Topor-Stanley takes the captain's armband.

German defender Jerome Polenz re-signed with the club on Saturday but Popovic didn't rule out adding more players in the January transfer window with the re-signing of in-form midfielder Shinji Ono high on the priority list.

''He's a quality player and we're quite comfortable with our situation at the moment with him. He's happy, we're happy and I'm sure those talks will happen in due time,'' Popovic said.

Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

Round 1
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SYD 1 vs HRT 1 Stats
Fri, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Stats
CCM 1 vs NEW Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
SYD 3 vs WSW 2 Stats
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs PER Stats
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 2 Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4 vs NEW 1 Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5 vs HRT 2 Stats
Wed, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs BRI 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2 vs CCM Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs NEW 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs SYD Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs VIC 2 Stats
BRI 1 vs HRT 3 Stats
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WSW Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 4 Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
HRT 2 vs CCM 2 Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs VIC Stats
ADE 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
VIC 1 vs BRI Stats
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
HRT 1 vs SYD 2 Stats
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs SYD 08:30Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs PER 06:00Suncorp Stadium
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 08:40AAMI Park
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM 06:00Hunter Stadium
WEL vs HRT 04:00Westpac Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs BRI 06:00AAMI Park
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WSW 08:30Coopers Stadium
NEW vs WEL 06:00Hunter Stadium
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 08:40North Sydney Oval
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PER 08:30Allianz Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs CCM 04:00Eden Park
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
PER vs NEW 10:45nib Stadium
Wed, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs HRT 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs SYD 08:30Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 08:40Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs ADE 08:40Hunter Stadium
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
PER vs CCM 10:30nib Stadium
HRT vs VIC 08:30AAMI Park
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WSW 09:00Suncorp Stadium
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 06:00Allianz Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs WSW 06:00Westpac Stadium
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs NEW 08:30AAMI Park
CCM vs BRI 06:00Central Coast Stadium
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 08:45Allianz Stadium
HRT vs PER 06:30AAMI Park
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WEL 08:30Coopers Stadium
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 09:00Suncorp Stadium
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs HRT 06:00Hunter Stadium
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs PER 08:40Simonds Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs ADE 09:00nib Stadium
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs BRI 04:00Westpac Stadium
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW 08:30WIN Stadium
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs VIC 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs HRT 06:00Central Coast Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs SYD 08:30Central Coast Stadium
ADE vs NEW 06:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs WSW 06:00AAMI Park
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs VIC 09:00nib Stadium
Mon, 02 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WEL 09:00Suncorp Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
PER vs SYD 10:30nib Stadium
VIC vs HRT 08:30Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 08:40Hunter Stadium
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 06:00Brookvale Oval
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs WEL 06:00Sportingbet Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs HRT 04:00Hutt Recreational Ground
NEW vs WSW 06:00Hunter Stadium
SYD vs VIC 08:30Allianz Stadium
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 08:40Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PER 06:00Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs VIC 09:00Suncorp Stadium
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs NEW 04:00Hutt Recreational Ground
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs CCM 06:00Allianz Stadium
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs PER 06:00AAMI Park
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WSW 08:30Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WEL 06:00AAMI Park
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs ADE 08:40AAMI Park
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM 06:00Hunter Stadium
WSW vs SYD 08:30Pirtek Stadium
PER vs BRI 10:30nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs HRT 04:00Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs ADE 06:00Hutt Recreational Ground
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 08:40Hunter Stadium
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs PER 08:30AAMI Park
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WSW 06:00Suncorp Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs BRI 06:00Allianz Stadium
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs NEW 08:30AAMI Park
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs VIC 08:40Pirtek Stadium
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs CCM 08:30Coopers Stadium
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PER vs WEL 10:30nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs VIC 08:30Coopers Stadium
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 04:00Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs NEW 06:00Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WEL 06:00Suncorp Stadium
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs HRT 08:40Allianz Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 23:00Westpac Stadium
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs CCM 08:40AAMI Park
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs BRI 08:30AAMI Park
PER vs WSW 10:30nib Stadium
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs ADE 01:00Hunter Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs VIC 02:00Westpac Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 03:30Allianz Stadium
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs CCM 04:00Suncorp Stadium
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PER 02:00Hunter Stadium
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs HRT 03:40Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CCM vs WSW 04:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
HRT vs WEL 02:00AAMI Park
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs SYD 06:45nib Stadium
VIC vs NEW 04:40AAMI Park
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE vs BRI 02:00Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs ADE 02:00Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs VIC 04:30Suncorp Stadium
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs SYD 04:45Hunter Stadium
WEL vs CCM 02:30Westpac Stadium
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs HRT 02:00nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs CCM 02:00AAMI Park
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HRT 04:30Coopers Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs SYD 00:00Westpac Stadium
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 04:40Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs PER 02:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
Overall standings
Team P W D L +/- Pts
6 0 2 4 -6 2
6 1 0 5 -3 3
7 6 0 1 4 18
7 5 2 0 7 17
7 3 0 4 0 9
7 0 3 4 -9 3
7 1 2 4 -5 5
7 4 3 0 6 15
View all
 
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