Having never lifted A-League silverware and finishing 8th just last season, Glory are now top of the table after 13 games – and Popovic has been the catalyst for the change in fortunes.

The former Western Sydney Wanderers boss – who took that fledgling club to the Asian Champions League title in just his second season – has transformed Glory in a matter of months.

But he says it is part of a comprehensive overhaul of club mentality after seasons of mediocrity.

“The people in charge want to take the club to another level and make it a club that challenges for honours regularly," he told the official A-League website.

“When I had the chat with Perth, I felt it was the right challenge in the right place."

The conversation with Glory chairman Tony Sage last year convinced Popa to return to the A-League after his brief stint in Turkey.

Popa shocked Wanderers fans and players when he moved to Karabükspor in the Super Lig just days before the 2016/17 A-League season was about to start.

The move was fated from the start with backroom rows going on at the club and he was sacked after just nine games.

“I’ve taken a lot from that experience, come back, but I never had any plans on what I wanted to do next” Popovic said.

But he admitted Wanderers still holds a place in his heart.

“The circumstances are quite unique, starting a club from scratch, being there for the first five years of its existence, to not have a special feeling for that club would be a lie” said Popovic.

 “I want to see that club succeed and do well in the near future and in the long term… just not when they play Perth Glory.”