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Wanderers on the verge of top spot

23 February 2013-AAP

wanderers a-league

Exceeding expectations ... Wanderers marquee man Ono leads the side at training (Getty)

Western Sydney Wanderers has already exceeded all expectations in its debut season but coach Tony Popovic is demanding more from his side, which could finish Saturday on top of the A-League ladder.

WSW is chasing a seventh straight victory when it faces ninth-placed Perth Glory at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday.

If it gets up and Central Coast Mariners loses to third-placed Melbourne Victory in the day's late match in Gosford, the competition newcomer will take over the competition lead.

It would be another big milestone for the A-League's newest club although Popovic insisted the only thing on his planning agenda is improvement.

"No, it (top spot) is not something I've mentioned throughout the year at all and it's not something we'll start thinking about now," Popovic said on Friday.

Wanderers sits just one point adrift of the Mariners after posting a 2-1 win over Victory last week.

Glory will also be on a high after staging a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Central Coast last Saturday under interim coach Alastair Edwards.

"The last couple of weeks we feel that in certain areas we can do better and the players know that themselves," Popovic said.

"If you want to be the best you always have to look for those small details to get better."

A win over Glory would edge WSW to within one game of Victory's all-time A-League record of eight consecutive triumphs.

But Popovic is wary of a Glory side still boasting many players from last year's grand final squad and containing attacking power, including the league's highest-ever goalscorer Shane Smeltz.

"That front third you've got (Liam) Miller and Smeltz and (Travis) Dodd ... they're players who on their day can really hurt you," Popovic said.

"So they'll come here with confidence. But we're a confident side as well and we've won six straight from playing some good football ourselves.

"But instead of being content with having six straight we want more."

Meanwhile, Popovic is confident the club is on the verge of announcing Japanese star Shinji Ono will be staying on for another season.

"We believe we're close. Certainly speaking to him yesterday he's very happy and we believe it's just the final details now," he said.

"We want him here, he wants to stay and that's the main thing."

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