Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic is bracing for Western United's siege mentality when the A-League's newest club hosts their first game.
Western United got off to a winning note when they posted a 1-0 win over the Phoenix in Wellington last week.
United will be aiming to continue their perfect start when they host Glory at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong on Saturday evening.
Popovic knows first-hand the challenges of coaching a start-up club after guiding Western Sydney Wanderers in their formative years.
The Wanderers were widely tipped to collect the wooden spoon in their debut season but ended up winning the Premiers Plate.
Popovic was impressed by what he saw from the Mark Rudan-coached Western United last week and he expects them to come out firing in front of their new fans.
"I think maybe they have a bit of that siege mentality and something to prove, and they've proved it already," Popovic said.
"They've already got that first win, and away from home. They're off and running which is great for the league.
"I can appreciate how hard it is at a start-up club to win that first game and how important it is to win as a new football club.
"And now they've got their first home game. So we know they'll be confident, and they'll want to get a big crowd and a good backing there for their new supporter base."
Glory's defence will need to be on red alert for an experienced United attack that features Besart Berisha and Scott McDonald.
Berisha scored the winner against Wellington last week.
"It's good to see him back in the A-League," Popovic said.
"He's a real character, and he earned his move to Japan, and now he's back.
"I think he's great for the A-League.
"He has that real winning attitude and mentality, and you can see it in the way he plays."
Perth players were left gutted last week after conceding an equaliser five minutes inot stoppage time in their 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar.
Popovic said his team's drop off in the second half was expected after a number of players arrived late in the pre-season or were recently troubled by injury.
The return of veteran Ivan Franjic from suspension will boost Glory's defence on Saturday, and Popovic expects his team to steadily improve over the coming weeks.
Australian Associated Press