Forget about grand final revenge, Perth Glory have set their sights on regaining their goalscoring mojo when they take on Sydney FC at HBF Park on Saturday night.
Glory sit in sixth spot on the ladder - already six points adrift of Sydney FC - after posting just one win from their five games.
Perth averaged 2.1 goals per game during last season's run to the Premiers Plate, but that has alarmingly dropped to an average of 1.2 this campaign.
Star signing Bruno Fornaroli has scored just once in five games, while Chris Ikonomidis (2) and Diego Castro (1) are also yet to enjoy a flurry of goals.
Glory have posted a shooting accuracy of 56 per cent this season - the highest in the league.
But the problem is they have launched only 60 shots on goal - ranking them ninth in the competition.
Popovic says his team's chemistry and fitness have improved dramatically in recent weeks, and he feels that will translate into more goals.
"We've scored in every game, and we've created in every game, and we're getting good opportunities," Popovic said.
"That's the first part. The second part I feel is very close. I feel it's really coming.
"We're not far off. Of course we can do better in defence and attack, but we feel that stability is coming and the players are getting stronger and the understanding is getting better and better."
Sydney FC have beaten Perth in 11 of the past 12 encounters between the two sides.
The one that sticks out is the grand final in Perth last season, which Sydney won on penalties.
Popovic says his players don't need to use that loss as motivation for this week.
"That was last year. Our motivation is to be a team again this year that challenges for the title," Popovic said.
"Last year we were a big team. You need to challenge again consistently to be a big team once more."
Glory defender Osama Malik (hamstring) will again be unavailable for selection, while fellow centre back Alex Grant will miss after his red card in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets.
Brandon Wilson is available despite being banned from international competition until August 10 after FFA found him guilty of "unprofessional conduct" over an incident involving a woman while on Olyroos duty in Cambodia earlier this year.
Sydney FC sit in second spot on the table following a strong start to the season, which included a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory last week.
Australian Associated Press