Popovic Derby Rundown

ICYMI, here’s everything you need to know from Tony’s Melbourne Derby presser.

On squad availablity…

“We always want our players fit and available and everyone fighting for positions and you know we feel that coming to the back end of the year that we’re in a good healthy place.”

“We’ve backed our depth throughout the whole year with suspensions and injuries and the players have done a very good job.”

“We need everyone. That’s why we always talk about the squad and talk about how important every player is, whether they’re playing at that moment or not, and we’ll need everyone through this important period at the end of the season.”

On the buzz around a home Derby…

“We’re always excited for this game, even more so knowing that it’s a home game. Our home fans will be here making a lot of noise. The players are excited, the entire Club’s excited.”

“We’re coming off a good performance and win against Perth and you know, we want to make it another win here at home.”

On winning the Derby this time around…

“Those games are always tough. And both previous games had tight, limited opportunities. But you know, I thought in the second game, in particular, we played very well. We’ve got to continue with that and play to our maximum and find a way to breach their backline and their keeper, which I’m confident we can do.”

On Melbourne City’s form…

“If we look at their squad on paper, arguably they have, in certain areas, the the best individuals in the league. So regardless of how the team is faring, the results, the previous results they’ve had, we know that they have individuals that can win any game on their own.”

“So we have to be aware of that. But we also have to back ourselves and know that we have the game to beat them and punish them. And you know we have to be really strong in both boxes, that’ll be the key to the game.”

On Bruno Fornaroli

“He’s obviously come back into the squad a lot better shape than he did last time he went away with the Socceroos. He wasn’t away for six weeks. He was only away for a couple of weeks this time.”

“He looked after himself very well. He came back very motivated.”

On the final four matches of the season…

“I think we’re in a good position to finish the season very strong. You know we’ve now had a good performance after the break against Perth. So you’re always a little bit unsure after 17 days without a game, how you will fare. So we’re very pleased that the performance was so strong.”

“I believe it can still get better after getting that game under our belt. And we finished, before the break, with a win and a draw. So we’re in some good form.”

“We believe that we can keep getting stronger. We have some great games to look forward to but we have to still just look at one game at a time and tomorrow’s the most important and then we can focus on the next exciting game, which is Wellington.”