The former defender spent last summer hastily-assembling his roster.
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic admits he is relieved to have a settled squad in place at this stage of pre-season.
The 40-year-old brought Tomi Juric, Dean Heffernan and Brendon Santalab to the Parramatta Stadium this summer and is yet to finalise his roster for the 2013/14 A-League campaign, although he hinted that it is close to completion.
It’s thought Popovic is still eyeing one more addition, but the former Socceroos defender was glad to have time on his side this year, in stark contrast to 2012 when he was forced to hurriedly cobble together a team comprised of just 15 players in their debut season at Australia’s elite level.
“It’s certainly a change from last year and we are enjoying that,” he told The World Game. “It’s nice to have the group together at such an early stage.
“We’re working on things a lot earlier as a group and we’re quietly confident that can help us throughout the year.”
Attention has now turned to what Popovic is expecting of his players this season after they topped the A-League last term and lifted the Premiers’ Plate, but he the Wanderers chief says no added pressure will be applied to replicate that success.
“They (the players) enjoyed that success last year and they’ve all got that look in their eyes that they’ll do everything they can to try and have some more this year,” the former Crystal Palace defender added.
“I don’t think there’ll be extra pressure on us, this group, internally.
“Externally, I’m sure the pressures will be different and expectations different from the outside. But it’s up to us to handle that.”