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Neville wants ACL wins before his WSW exit

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/04/2017 Emma Kemp

Scott Neville hopes to erase his A-League pain with strong Asian Champions League performances before he leaves Western Sydney to embark on a renaissance with the Glory.

Neville confirmed he's signed a three-year deal with former club Perth after two positive seasons with the Wanderers, with whom he's played nearly every minute at right-back and come agonisingly close to winning last season's title.

His desire for a shot at a second successive grand final was scuppered last Friday night, when Brisbane Roar beat the Wanderers in a penalty shootout in their elimination final at Suncorp Stadium.

Now the 28-year-old wants nothing more than to go out on a high in the Wanderers' last two ACL group games, against Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan on Wednesday night and Shanghai SIPG in Campbelltown on May 10.

"I've signed with Perth for the next three years, that's why I was even more emotional after losing to Brisbane," Neville told AAP from Saitama.

"Not only did I want to play in another grand final, but go one better and finish my journey here with a victory.

"That's why I want to finish the last two games in the ACL as positively as possible."

The Wanderers must win big against the Reds and SIPG to even be in with a shot of progressing to the knockout stage as one of the top two in Group F.

Even then, other results must go their way to continue their continental campaign.

It's a task made more difficult after their sudden-death loss to the Roar that has left players mentally drained and physically exhausted.

In addition, J-League heavyweights Urawa are no easy opposition with Neville describing the team that beat the Wanderers 4-0 in February as the best team in Asia.

Yet Neville is confident this season's hectic schedule had the much-improved WSW squad conditioned to deal with the load and play for pride, if nothing else.

"We could easily come over here and say 'our season's over', but all the boys are motivated to put in a strong performance and finish off the season well," Neville said.

"We just need to try and pick up maximum points in the next two games, hopefully that can be enough."

If it is, Neville can extend his Wanderers career a little longer before he heads west and Glory right-back Josh Risdon heads in the opposite direction.

"I love the Wanderers, it's been a great club for me ... I've grown not only as a player, but a person as well," Neville said.

"Popa is the best coach I've ever had, I've got such respect for him.

"I still hope the club does well even after I've moved on, it's definitely the best A-League club in my opinion."

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