On the eve of this season's first Sydney derby, Western Sydney Wanderers' media manager urged the press to restrict questions for Tony Popovic to "club related" only.
Popovic would have preferred this, naturally, but the questions on speculation linking him to another job, for the second time in a week, were inevitable.
After a period where he was considered for the Socceroos job, he has now been linked with the vacant post at English Premier League club Crystal Palace.
Popovic spent five years at Palace, then quit his post as Sydney FC's assistant manager to assume the same role with the London club. He was lured back to Australia by Football Federation Australia to take the Wanderers' top job.
Now Fleet Street wants to know if he will yo-yo back again after Ian Holloway departed on Wednesday.
"That's news to me," Popovic said, despite being rated a $31 chance for the Palace job by a British bookmaker. "I don't know about the market but they're a great club, and a club that's close to me, and I want them to do well in the premiership. Rumours are big in football, and I'm sure they've got a huge list of candidates that would love that job."
Whenever speculation puts its head up – in any form – Popovic likes to act as though he knows nothing about it. He hates commenting on it. Privately, he was seething about having his name linked to the Socceroos job when the FFA rated him as their third-preferred candidate.
Some inside the Wanderers' camp felt it was a distraction in the 1-1 draw against Wellington. Palace haven't sounded out Popovic or the Wanderers yet. They are not expected to finalise their list of candidates until next week.
But if he is on the list when the calls are made, speculation will grow again, and he will have to put out another round of fires. He is getting good at it.
As for the derby, there's speculation there too, but at least for matters on the pitch.
A calf injury looks set to sideline Alessandro Del Piero but Popovic is prepared in case the Italian starts, sits on the bench or waits in the stands. "It's in their hands. We can't control whether he plays or not," he said. "We feel that he'll be involved at some point, but if he's not, we're also prepared for that situation."
Talk on Aaron Mooy's availability has ebbed and flowed after a concussion last week but the Wanderers midfielder looks set to start.
"He's a lot better. He feels that he's ready to go, but we've got our medical staff here and we're following procedures and he needs to be ticked off by them," he said.
"He's in great spirits. He's still got to tick some boxes and if he does that, great, and we'll probably decide that on [Saturday] morning. We feel he's a great chance."
Iacopo La Rocca is an obvious replacement if Mooy is unfit, but Popovic does not think he will need him. "At this stage, no," he said. "A lot will depend on how Aaron is."
Despite no wins this season, Popovic was content with what he saw from his side in patches against Central Coast and Wellington.
"Results are one thing but we've been pleased that we've played some good football in both games," he said. "We're really concentrating on trying to extend the time in those games that we play well. If our performance keeps improving, then the wins will come."
Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic has been named in the squad for the first time this season but is not fully fit and is unlikely to feature. "He's knocking on the door, but I think all the boys are fit and healthy," he said.
"Everybody wants to play tomorrow, they're showing that at training and that's great to see."