|By CHRISTIAN MAMMONE
Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic is unsurprised by his side's performances this season, after jumping into third spot on the A-League table following a comfortable 4-2 victory over Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday.
A lacklustre first-half was ignited by two goals in two minutes from Western Sydney pair Youssouf Hersi and Mark Bridge on the stoke of half-time.
Hersi nodded in another before Croatian midfielder Mateo Poljak's clever strike came in between goals to United striker Bruce Djite and winger Iain Ramsay.
The important victory against a fellow finals contender was the Wanderers' fourth consecutive win and lifts them into third, just four points off top spot.
With eight games to play including four at home, Popovic's men are every chance to push even higher and exceed all expectations.
Despite most A-League observers being shocked by how successful the Wanderers have been since the rocky start to their debut campaign, when they took just one point from the opening three games, Popovic is not.
"I think our performances throughout the year have shown we are good enough to get results," Popovic said.
"Early on we didn't match that, the performance with the results. We felt we were playing some good football, but were a little bit inconsistent in the outcome.
"Now we've shown a great consistency in our results... four straight wins – any team that could achieve that would be pleased.
"We are very happy, it's the first time we've achieved that this year and we are not looking ahead too far.
"We didn't get despondent when the results weren't coming our way and we won't get ahead of ourselves with the great run that we've got.
"Our focus is on Newcastle [next week] and to continue that run we need to be at our best against another good team."
When quizzed on what has made the Wanderers – a club that was pulled and pieced together in barely six months – so impressive this season, Popovic attributed it to his squad's close bond.
"We are a close-knit unit, everyone works for each other, but there is a structure and game plan everyone has to buy into, and the players do that," Popovic said.
"We are a close-knit group and a club with high aspirations. We want to be the best and slowly we are taking steps forward.
"I don't see it as anything special, it's just the way the Wanderers work, and we as a club are very happy with how we play our football and how we conduct ourselves.
"Moving forward there is a lot more room for improvement on and off the park.
"Bit by bit we want to achieve good things at this club."