Popovic won't let his future distract from Victory push

Uncontracted beyond this season, Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic says he won't let speculation over his future get in the way of attempting to claim A-League Men silverware.

After Saturday night's 2-1 derby win over Melbourne City at AAMI Park, Victory sit third, five points behind leaders Central Coast and second-placed Wellington, with an eye on the premiership and championship.

Popovic's three-season deal will expire at season's end and he indicated further talks regarding a potential extension would be parked until then.

"I'll worry about it then," Popovic said after his side earned victory late through Damien Da Silva's 86th minute header.

"I'm not concerned about my future. My concern is this club - to put ourselves in a great position to try and win the title.

"I have great support here with the staff, with the board, with the fans. I'm enjoying it and let the focus be just on a great group of players."

Victory have hit their straps while winning their past two games but when pressed on whether he wanted to be at the club next season, Popovic was non-committal.

The former Socceroos defender, who has previously been linked to moves overseas along with talk of a return to former club Western Sydney, has family in Croatia and indicated his future wasn't as simple as just signing on.

"This result or last week doesn't change anything for me," Popovic said.

"Maybe it changes it from your perspective or how would that look if we didn't have the results. Nothing changes for me.

"Obviously we're more delighted that we've won the games recently but my personal situation is a lot more complex - not in terms of the football but in terms of personally, where my family is situated all over the world at the moment.

"So there are many things to consider but definitely the results don't change anything in terms of the process or planning that we have moving forward.

"We just want to keep winning and hopefully have a good result in Wellington and welcome back our fans here and keep pushing for that title."

Victory (41 points) will take on second-placed Wellington (46) away next Friday in a huge game.

Damien Da Silva
Melbourne Victory's Damien Da Silva celebrates his late winner against Melbourne City.

Their path to glory has been made harder by losing three players - Ryan Teague, Nishan Velupillay and Jordi Valadon - to the U23 Asian Cup.

The trio fly out on Monday for the tournament in Qatar, which doubles as qualifiers for the Paris Olympics.

"Well, we send them off wishing them all the best," Popovic said.

"I'd be a hypocrite if I and the club didn't support them when we want youngsters to improve at this football club.

"I've experienced an Olympics, fortunately, as a player, and who am I now to try and stop their dream?

"We have to keep producing more players, nurturing more, and we have a squad that we believe can cover their absence.

"And hopefully we welcome them back qualifying for an Olympics and we're in a very good position to challenge and win a title."

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