Popovic targets Grand Final after Perth crowned Premiers
Perth Glory head coach Tony Popovic set his sights on reaching the Grand Final after seeing his side secure the A-League Premiers Plate.
Ivan Franjic scored after 65 minutes at HBF Park to earn Glory a 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets that saw the club win its first piece of silverware in 15 years, and Popovic reflected on an emotional moment while calling for his players to go one better.
Popovic took Western Sydney Wanderers to a Grand Final on three occasions but failed to win any of them, and his determination to put that record right with Glory was evident after they were crowned Premiers.
"There's been a lot of willingness to be the best we can be," Popovic told FOX Sports. "That's shown off the park and it's a credit to everyone.
"I've had three goes at a Grand Final and haven't got there. We're guaranteed a big semi-final here at home, but there’s a lot of work to do.
"We'll try to do it once more and give these fans something to cheer about at a Grand Final."
What a season it has been. Very proud to win the @ALeague Premiers Plate. Amazing effort by everyone here at @PerthGloryFC. We will enjoy it for a day and then we focus on winning the Grand Final. #OneGlorypic.twitter.com/vcrvXoR7dU— Tony Pignata (@tpignata9) April 14, 2019
Popovic said Glory owner Tony Sage was emotional following his team's triumph, which came after a run of just one defeat in their last 16 A-League games.
They will end the season with games against Sydney and Wellington Phoenix, but Popovic took a moment to reflect on his pride at topping the table.
"I'm a proud coach, proud to lead this group of players," Popovic said.
"I saw Tony Sage shed a tear tonight — he's put a lot of money into the club and it's for a lot of people who have supported the club over a number of years.
"It's well deserved for this club.
"The most pleasing part is they've performed week after week, you can't fault their performances. We've played very well and thoroughly deserved this."