Hard work key for Covic

26 December 2012 06:44:47 EST

Goalkeeper Ante Covic believes Western Sydney Wanderers' excellent start to life in the A-League is down to preparation.

The club entered the league this year as a completely unknown quantity, and found themselves quickly dismissed by pundits for their inability to find the net.

But their slow start was something of a false dawn, as they have climbed into fourth spot on the ladder.

And if neutrals needed any convincing that they are genuine title contenders, it came in round seven.

That was when the Wanderers went to the home of last year's grand finalists and beat Perth Glory 1-0 despite being down to 10 men for most of the match.

The days of them struggling to score are well and truly behind them, as they showed last Friday when they put six goals past second-placed Adelaide United.

Covic said: "We had a disrupted three-month preparation, but the way we worked in those three months was extremely intense.

"I know a lot of people were talking about this club, saying we weren't going to do anything, last place and all that, but there wasn't one person in this squad that believed that.

"We all know we are capable of being up there with the best."

Covic puts much of the credit for the way the Wanderers have played in the first half of the season down to coach Tony Popovic.

"He was always a disciplined player out on the field, and he has brought that into his coaching," he said.

"He has a specific way he wants us to play, and he doesn't deviate from that."

The Wanderers face Perth at home on Thursday looking to follow up their victory in Western Australia.

"You don't go (to Perth) and get results too often so to come away with the win playing most of the game with 10 men was a really special achievement for us," Covic said.

"That's going to give us confidence coming into the game against them this week."

Perth Glory are 6/5 to beat Western Sydney Wanderers, who are 23/10 and the draw is 23/10.

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