Tony Popovic trying to temper Perth Glory expectations: 'I think it's still too early'
Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic admits even he's surprised by how consistent his team has been this season but says it's too early to get carried away.
Glory continued their unbeaten start under Popovic's reign with a 1-0 win over Melbourne City at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
A Chris Ikonomidis strike on 43 minutes -- his fifth goal of the season -- was enough to seal Perth's fifth win.
The result maintained Perth's two-point lead over second-placed Melbourne Victory, and they are now six points ahead of Sydney FC and Adelaide United.
Popovic says Glory have exceeded his early expectations but he knows there's still plenty of obstacles to come.
"I think the results, probably in some respects, are a little bit surprising early on in that they've been so consistent for me," he said.
"But I think it's still too early to say that we've fixed the so-called away issues, or that we're very strong at home.
"There's certainly a lot of work to do. There always was regardless of the results."
The Glory haven't been at their best in recent weeks but Popovic said the fact they've still been able to grind out results was a good sign.
Perth are now waiting on the fitness prognosis of former Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic, who was replaced in the first half in his first A-League match of the campaign.
Spiranovic, who had missed the best part of a year with a hip injury, suffered a suspected hamstring niggle and was replaced as a precaution.
Popovic is hopeful the injury isn't serious and said it isn't related to Spiranovic's past hip issues
City are now seven points adrift of the leaders but coach Warren Joyce was happy with his team's effort against Glory, controlling play for much of the match.
However, the Bruno Fornaroli saga continues and Joyce was in no mood to address the issue further after Saturday's loss.
Fornaroli has been overlooked for the past three matches because of what his coach has labelled a lack of commitment to training.
"I've answered every single question I possibly can about Bruno," Joyce said.
"I'd rather talk about the players tonight driving the game, showing commitment to the cause."
Curtis Good will miss next Sunday's away clash with Adelaide United after being red carded against Glory.
Joyce expects Florin Berenguer to miss several more weeks after the Frenchman injured a calf at training while Belgian defender Ritchie de Laet, who missed the Perth clash through injury, will be assessed during the week.