'Nobody can touch us': Canberra coach up for ALW fight

Canberra must put their controversial A-League Women points deduction to one side on Sunday and focus on a tricky away trip to Western Sydney.

Coach Njegosh Popovich is backing his players to do exactly that, declaring "nobody in the competition can touch us" when they play at their highest level.

United were docked three points after being found guilty of fielding an ineligible player in a 2-1 win against Sydney FC on February 11.

The Australia Professional Leagues concluded they used an unauthorised additional substitution, although United are appealing that decision on the grounds they were following the fourth official's ruling.

It could be a hammer blow in their dogged pursuit of a finals berth, having won four straight games to eradicate the gap to the ALW's top four.

They now resume that mission again three points behind fourth-ranked Melbourne Victory, with Popovich proud of how his side has handled the challenging week.

"We as a group are very focused on what we know our tasks are," he said.

"That is what it is, that process is happening as we speak, the appeals process is being put together and we move on.

"That's professional football. The players are learning, every training session, they're learning every game ... it's a learning process for all of us, even us as coaches.

"I'm definitely proud of ... the whole group ... as a group and as a team dynamic we're heading in the right direction."

Canberra breezed past Western Sydney 3-0 just a fortnight ago, but the Wanderers dug in for a 1-1 draw last weekend in Perth.

They lose goalkeeper Jordyn Bloomer, who's returning to parent club Racing Louisville in the US after her loan spell.

"Western Sydney are a bit wounded from the last time they played us, they went away and got a result in Perth, which is a tough trip," Popovich said.

"They'll be up to the fight, but for us it's just the same.

"We know what we're capable of, if we play our game nobody in the competition can touch us."

United have named an unchanged squad, with regular starters Chloe Lincoln and Sasha Grove remaining on national under-20s duty.