Tony Popovic says the Wanderers will be intent on maintaining their strong away record in Asia when the Red & Black take on Chinese heavyweights Shanghai SIPG tonight at Shanghai Stadium.
The Wanderers are undefeated in their last five away fixtures in the Asian Champions League, a feat Popovic credits to his side’s self-belief.
“We’ve had a good record due to our quality” said Popovic.
“The players when we come away from home have a lot of belief that we can win. We have a lot of belief that we can show how strong Australian football is and that we can compete with the big teams in Asia [who have] a lot of resources.
“We’ve shown that we can do that in the past and we hope to continue that record. I’ll be very happy if that record continues.”
The Red & Black have scored in every single of their previous matches against Chinese opposition and will need to be at the top of their game if they are to match the firepower of Shanghai SIPG’s star-studded squad.
“We can see they are a very aggressive team, they like to press and play forward, they have some very good players in the front third.
“We understand that it will be a difficult challenge but I think we’ve shown in the past, although our resources are not like the Asian teams, we’ve shown that we have been good enough.
“We've won the Champions League with a lot of spirit, a lot belief, a lot of togetherness and we have some very good players,” he reflected.
The Wanderers are balancing both the domestic and continental competition and Popovic says the Club will be placing equal importance on both.
“Firstly, we take importance in the Champions League and also our domestic competition is very important because if you have success in the domestic competition you then have the opportunity of playing in the Champions League.
“This is what we’ve done and this is our third attempt here.“We’re delighted to be here once again in the Champions League. We’re past winners and it’s our third time playing in the Champions League and we look forward to a great match against Shanghai SIPG.”