Coach knows Western Sydney Wanderers' job is only half done


WESTERN Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic says he will work hard to make sure his players are well prepared to complete the task of becoming the first Australian team to win the Asian Champions League title.

The Wanderers are in the box seat after substitute Tomi Juric's (pictured) second-half strike secured a 1-0 first-leg win over Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal in front of a capacity crowd at Pirtek Stadium in Parramatta.

But Popovic said there would be no let up for him and his players ahead of the second leg in Riyadh next Sunday morning (AEST).

"We wanted to win this first leg in front of our home fans and we have done that," Popovic told the ABC.

"We also know the job's half done.

"Although we are pleased, we know we have a big job in front of us."

Popovic knows just how big a game this is for Australian club football and is not just treating the second leg like any other match.

The team will fly to the Saudi capital on Wednesday, and the coach said he would make sure his players were in the best shape to try to bring the trophy home.

"We can work on a few things during the week, then when we play we just make sure we don't leave anything out there," Popovic said.

Wanderers could be without Brendan Santalab who left the stadium with his arm in a sling after re-injuring his shoulder. He is still hopeful of being on the plane to Riyadh.

Topics:  a-league asian champions league football tony popovic western sydney wanderers

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