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Popovic expected to make call on Victory future

George ClarkeAAP
Out-of-contract Victory boss Tony Popovic will weigh up his future after their grand final defeat. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconOut-of-contract Victory boss Tony Popovic will weigh up his future after their grand final defeat. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

A crestfallen Tony Popovic is unsure whether his future remains at Melbourne Victory after his side fell at the final hurdle in an A-League Men grand final loss to the Central Coast Mariners.

Popovic is out of contract, and his final act as Victory coach could have been his side's agonising 3-1 defeat to the Mariners after extra time on Saturday.

Victory had one hand on the trophy courtesy of a Jason Geria goal, before Ryan Edmondson struck in added time to send the game to extra-time.

Miguel Di Pizio and Edmondson both scored goals in extra-time to clinch the title for the Mariners and leave Popovic feeling despondent.

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"We'll see in the next few days, I'm sure it will all be done and resolved in the next couple of weeks," Popovic said.

"But for now it's about being with the staff and the players in what is a difficult moment right now for everyone.

"When you get that close, I've experienced a lot of these and it's probably a couple where I thought we were outplayed and shouldn't have won.

"I thought we should have won tonight so they're hard to take but that's a life of his job and it's not going to stop me trying to do it again."

The loss continued an unhappy trend for Popovic, who has had the misfortune of reaching five grand finals as a coach and falling to five defeats across his time with Western Sydney Wanderers, Perth Glory and now Victory.

Whether he opts to stick around or someone else steps into the hotseat, Victory will be in a much better state than the team Popovic took charge of three years ago.

Jordi Valadon and Ryan Teague have become regulars under Popovic while wunderkind Daniel Arzani appears to have recaptured some of his magic under the watchful eye of the former Socceroo.

Victory won an Australia Cup under Popovic and have made a semi-final and grand final in two of his three seasons.

"The next few days we'll be trying to get over this defeat," Popovic said.

"I thought there were so many great performances and Ryan and Jordi were outstanding tonight in midfield.

"With some of those young players coming through, the future's bright for the club."

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