Perth Glory’s season so nearly ended spectacularly last week but in surviving their semi-final capitulation against Adelaide United, Tony Popovic believes his team has become hardened for whatever drama eventuates in the A-League grand final on Sunday.
While Adelaide asked several questions of Perth Glory’s ability to see out a game and prised open space in their defence easier than expected, Popovic believes it may have just been the match his team needed to have before the decider against Sydney FC. After letting a lead twice slip away and then holding their nerve in the penalty shoot-out, Popovic says his team has become steelier than ever.
«I believe the players have grown in their mental strength throughout the year. They have embraced every challenge, we have had challenges of staying at the top when everyone expected us to fall. We have come back in games when we were down and out. A lot has been spoken about Adelaide’s mental strength to stay in the game, and I acknowledge that as well, but we forget about the strength we showed,» Popovic said.
«I saw something in the group there that convinced me that we are ready for any challenge tomorrow regardless of what happens there tomorrow out there on the park. I am sure we can overcome any hurdle now and tomorrow I anticipate a fantastic performance from our team. We are ready for this and I know last week helped us.»