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I want to be world's best coach: Poppa

AAP logoAAP 18/11/2016 Matt Encarnacion

Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic admits he has ambitions to be the best football manager in the world, but that doesn't mean he's ready to go wandering.

Popovic reportedly rejected a move to Chinese powerhouse Shanghai Shenhua this week after contract negotiations broke down with club officials in Sydney.

And while he insists he remains content to see out the final 18 months of his current deal at Blacktown, Popovic has his sights set on bigger prizes.

"My immediate goal is to be here because I'm contracted here," he said following the Wanderers' 1-1 draw with Melbourne City on Friday.

"Long-term, medium-term, coaching is too unpredictable to look too far ahead in this industry. But we all have goals and ambitions, and mine's to be the best coach anywhere.

"I want to be the best coach in Australia, I want to be the best coach in the world. There's nothing wrong with that, (and) whichever path that takes me on to get there, I'll try and do it."

Popovic's comments come after Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas this week confirmed Shanghai's interest in the Wanderers' inaugural and only mentor.

It is understood the Asian franchise had also shortlisted Roberto Mancini and Laurent Blanc, but preferred the former Socceroo defender due to his extensive experience in Asia.

Popovic said interest from elsewhere was part and parcel of the game.

"It was something that was released internationally, we can't control that," he said.

"We're not a club, or I'm not a coach, that comes out and says every time someone calls us about me or about a player. I'm very happy where I am.

"I'm contracted to this football club. Nothing changes."

The Wanderers appeared headed for defeat against City before salvaging a point courtesy of an injury-time own goal at Spotless Stadium.

The draw extends their winless run to five games, however Popovic was ecstatic with the improved performance, particularly after limiting City to just one shot on target all game.

"We defended very well today against a very good team, and that's an area of our game that hasn't been strong," he said.

"I thought tonight the structure was excellent, and moments change games, unfortunately the moment didn't go for us.

"I'm delighted that they kept fighting at the end. In the end, it was certainly a deserved point in a very tight game that was a good match. Those things will turn for us."

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