Wanderers boss distances himself from the crowd troubles to shift focus to Sydney derby this weekend
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic says he is confident of a trouble-free Sydney A-League derby.
The A-League has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons over the past fortnight after Football Federation Australia charged the Wanderers and Melbourne Victory following a street brawl that erupted before their match at AAMI Park on December 28.
The Wanderers have until 5pm Tuesday to decide whether to appeal the suspended deduction of three competition points.
They face Sydney FC at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night and there are fears supporters could spark more trouble.
That's because the fixture between the cross-town rivals at the same venue last season was marred by pre-game incidents between fans.
Popovic branded the troublemakers as irrelevant and said the Wanderers' passionate fans had brought something special to the competition.
Many football supporters in Australia vehemently deny the code has a problem with crowd misbehaviour and Popovic agrees.
"That (crowd trouble) is not something we are focusing on. We have great passionate fans and I don't want to speak about a very small minority that are not relevant to us really," Popovic said at Wanderers training on Tuesday.
"Our fans as a whole have really added to the A-League.
"I think across the board they have been fantastic and I'm sure they will be fantastic again on Saturday."
Popovic said the derby was growing in appeal.
"The atmosphere is getting better and better. You can feel it in the stands. You can feel it on the field. The rivalry is building and I'm sure that will be the same again on Saturday," he said.
"We are looking forward to a lot of red and black and out there and I'm sure they (Sydney FC) are looking forward to the game as much as we are.
"Derbies are special and everyone wants to be a part of it whether you are a player, an administrator or a coach.
"It's a special day and it should be.
"It's great to have two teams in Sydney and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to it."