Perth Glory striker Brendon Santalab has declared “business as usual” as he prepares to face his former club Western Sydney Wanderers in Sunday’s A-League clash at HBF Park.
Santalab scored 35 goals in 97 appearances for Wanderers – most of them under now Glory coach Tony Popovic who brought him to Perth this season.
He did not play in the round one 1-1 draw against his old side but scored his first Glory goal in his first start in the 3-1 win over Sydney FC on Wednesday.
Santalab admits having many fond memories of Western Sydney but said all emotion will be put aside at kick-off.
“It’s business as usual for me. The main goal against the Wanderers is to shake the back of the net,” he said.
“It’s all about focus now, not thinking too deep into the situation and not letting the emotion get into this one.
“It’s very easy to do, but the sole focus is on the end result. Three points.
“I have a lot of respect for everybody at the Wanderers and what that club gave me in my career, great memories that I will have for a long time, but this is not the time think about that.
“This is the time for us to focus, get the three points.”
Santalab celebrated hard after his first-half goal put Glory 3-0 ahead against Sydney.
“It was not so much about relief. It was great to score in my first start,” he said.
“That gave me a lot of confidence. Whether I start or come off the bench goals are always in my mind.
“It’s always great to score but for me it’s always been about the team and the workrate and how I can make a difference for the team. That’s the key.
“That was my main target in the game against Sydney and the goal was a nice bonus.”
Popovic said he was enjoying a new journey with Glory.
“We played in round one which felt a little bit strange pre-game, but once the game starts you don’t even think about who you’re up against,” he said.
“I had a fantastic history with that club and helped start that club.
“That will never change. Whether its five years from now or 10 years from now I’ll always look back at five fantastic years.
“I’m on another journey now and I’m loving it.”
Popovich warned that table-topping Glory could not take anything for granted against a struggling Wanderers outfit.
“We want to get three points and keep this great run going,” he said.
“We can’t take our position for granted. If we do, we won’t get the result on Sunday. I’m clear on that.
“We must perform as well if not better. They are different type of opposition. They are very dynamic, they run, they chase, they create chances – the most in the league.
“If we take them for granted we’ll be going home empty-handed.”