WESTERN Sydney Wanderers boss Tony Popovic said his side will be wary of Tim Cahill but is focused on winning its FFA Cup quarter-final against Melbourne City on Wednesday night.
Popovic said there is a buzz in the squad ahead of the all A-League showdown at AAMI Park, with less than a month until the start of the season proper.
“You sense that the season’s fast approaching. It’s a very long pre-season and you can see that the players are very keen, very focused.
Not that Popovic is taking the domestic cup competition lightly.
The ex Socceroos defender stressed that the club has its sights set firmly on claiming its maiden FFA Cup crown, having been bundled out on penalties at the same stage last year.
He believes his side will not be daunted by the task of subduing a City attack including Cahill and last season’s top-scorer Bruno Fornaroli.
“With Timmy in the side they’ll always be stronger. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he’s a quality player and he’s proven that over years,” he said.
“We’ll show him the respect he deserves but we’re going into this match first and foremost to win. We want to be in the semi-finals.”
Popovic should have a full-strength squad to choose from for the match, barring any last-minute injuries.
Midfield general Dimas said that he feels that the squad Western Sydney has assembled for the 2016/17 can go one better than last season’s grand final appearance.
“This year as a group, as a team... we are stronger than last year.
“It’s a big game [against City]. I think Melbourne City have signed good players but…. I think we are prepared to achieve a good result.”