Former Western Sydney defender Scott Jamieson has thrown his support behind Wanderers coach Tony Popovic.
Popovic has been under fire from some this season because of the club’s position in the A-League. Wanderers sit in sixth spot and have only won five games this season, with nine draws and six losses.
The club was defeated 4-0 by Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday in the Asian Champions League, days after a breakthrough Sydney derby win.
Popovic has been coaching Western Sydney since the club was born in 2012.
Jamieson was part of Popovic’s side that reached the grand final last year. Now playing in Sweden, the fullback has been following the Wanderers’ fortunes and believes the head oach should be cut some slack.
“They’re obviously playing some decent football but not getting the results unfortunately,” he told FourFourTwo.
“To me, he’s the best coach I’ve had. The best motivator and also football brain. In the case of man management and also tactical side of things – he's the best.
“I don’t want to say anything bad about the fans but they have to realise how lucky they do have it at the club with the success he's had in a short period if time – a Champions League win, some grand finals, unfortunately not a win yet but a Premier’s Plate.
“These stats surpass a lot of other clubs who have been there from day one… It’s a salary cap league where your success can kind of tear your club down in a sense.
“I can understand the fans are a bit frustrated this year but when you lose two key players like (Mark Bridge) Bridgey and Nikolai (Topor-Stanley), who were the fabric of the club, you have to understand that you're bringing in players who maybe haven’t played a lot of first-team football and giving them a go.
“I understand their frustration but it just is a little bit frustrating seeing these reports and these voices getting angered because of these situations.
"But for me the boss is the right man and he definitely deserves to carry on as long as he wants and when he chooses to move on, and he should get the say, no one else in my opinion.”
Under Popovic, Western Sydney won the Asian Champions League in 2014, the Premier’s Plate and have reached three A-League deciders.
The former Socceroo has been criticised this season for his recruitment and his team’s inability to finish opponents off.
“I’m not criticising the fans by any means,” Jamieson said.
“Everyone’s allowed an opinion and that’s the beauty of things. But hopefully this kind of criticism does go away and the support for the boss and the club and the players continues to be as strong as ever.”