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Popovic quiet on A-League return for Bulut

AAP logoAAP 11/11/2016 Vince Rugari

Kerem Bulut remains in A-League exile after Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic refused to give any indication if the striker will play against Melbourne Victory.

Bulut has been a last-minute axing from the Wanderers' team for the last two matches because Popovic has been unhappy with his contributions at training.

The 24-year-old has been named in an extended squad for Saturday night's clash against Victory at Etihad Stadium, but whether he will actually be involved remains to be seen.

"We'll see," Popovic told reporters on Friday.

Popovic was similarly coy last week but still didn't use Bulut in their 2-2 draw against Perth Glory despite praising his increased training output.

Bulut started the first three matches of the new campaign for Western Sydney after re-joining the club in the off-season but has failed to find the back of the net.

His replacement Brendon Santalab has had no such trouble, scoring in consecutive weeks against Central Coast and Perth Glory to successfully shed himself of his old 'super-sub' tag.

"He's just a natural goalscorer. He'd tackle his own mum for a goal," defender Scott Neville said.

"That's what he loves, scoring goals. He's not happy unless he's scoring goals and even at training you'll see he'll slide in to score a tap-in then run off and celebrate.

"He's a fiery player we need and we love having him around."

The Wanderers have won just once in their last seven meetings with Melbourne Victory.

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