Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has dismissed reports he is in the mix to coach English Premiers League club Crystal Palace as just another football rumour.
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has dismissed reports he is in the mix to coach English Premiers League club Crystal Palace as just another football rumour.
It's been a big couple of weeks for the second-year coach who was on a three-man shortlist for the Socceroos job with Central Coast Mariners mentor Graham Arnold and the newly appointed national coach Ange Postecoglou.
The 40-year-old played for Palace from for five seasons from 2001 and served as an assistant coach in 2011/12 before joining the Wanderers as their inaugural head coach.
His name has been bandied about in the English media as a possible replacement for Ian Holloway who was sacked this week following seven losses in eight games for the newly promoted club.
But Popovic insists he has not been approached by Palace.
"I don't know about being in the market but they're a great club and a club that's close to me, and I want them to do well in the Premiership and I'm sure they'll make the right appointment to keep them in that great competition," Popovic told reporters on Friday.
"Rumours are big in football and I'm sure they've got a huge list of candidates that would love that job."
Popovic insists his sole focus is preparing the defending Premiers for Saturday night's blockbuster derby against Sydney FC.
He expects Alessandro Del Piero to line up for the Sky Blues despite a calf injury but says whether or not the Italian superstar plays will have no affect on the Wanderers' preparation.
"We feel that he'll be involved at some point, but if he's not we're also prepared for that situation," the Wanderers boss said."
"Really it's in their hands, we can't control whether he plays or not."
The 38-year-old completed a solo training session on Friday under the supervision of staff and is expected to be given until game day to prove his fitness.
Wanderers defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley is also expecting to face Del Piero at some stage on Saturday night.
"I think he'll still play, well I'm preparing myself for that anyway," Topor-Stanley said.
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