Ryan Griffiths playing for the Newcastle Jets in 2013.
Ryan Griffiths playing for the Newcastle Jets in 2013. DEAN LEWINS

Wanderers bring in Griffiths to kickstart attack

THE Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed the signing of striker Ryan Griffiths for the remainder of the season as coach Tony Popovic tries to solve his attacking problems.

Having been linked with a host of big-name overseas options, including Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov, Eduardo and Didier Drogba, Popovic has settled for Griffiths, a former Newcastle Jets attacker.

With Griffiths granted a release from former club South China SS in the Hong Kong Premier League, the 35-year-old began training with his new team on Tuesday ahead of their game against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

It's definitely exciting times and I was very excited to come here when Tony (Popovic) called me and asked if I was available and he was really enthusiastic to get me back," Griffiths said.

"That was something that showed me a lot of respect. I've heard a lot of good things about him as a coach.

"I wanted to join the squad and come back and do well for Western Sydney in the ACL (Asian Champions League) and the league and give 100% that's for sure."

Popovic has come under fire for his churning of players over the club's history, with 63 players fielded in 71 games since winning the ACL in 2014.

On Fox Sports News' Bill and Boz, the Wanderers boss defended his recruitment strategy.

"The fans were certainly happy last year with those 18 changes," Popovic said, referencing their successful run to the grand final last season.

"They're entitled to their opinion, but we made a decision after we won the Champions League to change 18 players.

"That was the decision made based on the philosophy of the club, in terms of how we want to play and longevity of how we believe we can have success over a period of time. So that was a conscious decision made, we certainly don't regret that decision.

"The fans are there and they have queries over players, but they are there to support the club. If a club is successful, they're there."

News Corp Australia

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