Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic says his charges are resolved to ensure they do not suffer the same heartbreak in Sunday’s grand final as they did in last season’s decider.
The Wanderers had the most remarkable of inaugural seasons last year, winning the Premiers’ Plate and making the grand final.
They were one match away from completing a fairytale but stumbled at the last hurdle, going down 2-0 to Central Coast Mariners at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Popovic says the defeat is still so vivid and his players will do anything to avoid the same fate when they face Brisbane Roar in the title decider at Lang Park.
“We’ve got one to go and we want to win,” he said.
“A large number of players were involved in the grand final last year and they know how that felt.
“We’ve got a chance to put that right.
“We don’t want to taste that sick feeling again after a grand final but it won’t be easy.
“We’ve got a very good opponent waiting at the other side and we know it will be very tough, but we feel that we’re a lot better prepared this time round.”
With the Wanderers yet to beat the Roar this season, stopping the hosts on Sunday will be no easy feat.
Star Roar striker Besart Berisha has scored the opening goal on both occasions he has lined up against the Wanderers this campaign, while German playmaker Thomas Broich has proven the side’s most dangerous player, orchestrating almost every attacking play.
But Popovic insists he will not be targeting Berisha or Broich in his game plan.
“We’ve always got a plan but it won’t entail singling out two players,” he said.
“It will be about respecting the whole team of Brisbane and more than anything focusing on ourselves.”