Popovic pleased for Bridge
Coach Tony Popovic was delighted for striker Mark Bridge after seeing him score the first hat-trick in Western Sydney Wanderers history.
He finds the opportunities in every game he plays.Tony Popovic
The A-League newcomers turned on the style at Parramatta Stadium as they thrashed second-placed Adelaide United 6-1.
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And the Wanderers coach praised Bridge for working hard throughout the season before finally getting his reward.
He opened the scoring in the 17th minute, courtesy of some neat footwork by Youssouf Hersi, and could have doubled his tally nine minutes later only to be denied by a smart save from Eugene Galekovic.
Bridge scored his second just before the break, to make it 3-0 to the Wanderers.
And he completed his treble 12 minutes into the second period, combining with Hersi before finding the net to extend his side's lead to 5-0.
"He finds the opportunities in every game he plays," Popovic said.
"He gets in the right positions, but unfortunately for him he hasn’t had the reward for his good play.
"Today for him to get a hat-trick, I’m sure he’ll go home very happy."
Popovic gave his side a big tick for maintaining their intensity in the second half, when the game was already virtually won at 3-0.
He said: "Even at 3-0, we challenged the players to try and go on with the game.
"It’s always difficult at 3-0 whether you take your foot off the pedal and try and hold on and make it a difficult second half.
"To get another three goals was very pleasing. "We always maintained that with our performances and opportunities we’re creating, our day would come where things would fall for us and we would punish our opposition."
The big win over the Reds won't be celebrated for long, as the Wanderers have a tough holiday schedule.
Popovic said: "I’ll certainly enjoy Christmas lunch a little bit more after that victory.
"But we’ve got a tough 10-day period, with three games in 10 days against very good opponents.
"Our focus is on those three games and to hopefully come out with the right outcomes for us and maintain this positive run."
Western Sydney Wanderers are 6/4 to win the A-League title, the Central Coast Mariners 2/1.
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