The Melbourne derby is always the biggest game of the season where you strive to do Melbourne Victory and the fans proud.

That win back in round eleven was a significant scalp because on paper every single one of Melbourne City’s players are full-time professionals.

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They’ve got Jodie Taylor as the golden boot winner from the Euros sitting on the bench to prove their depth. From the outside looking in, we probably should’ve never won but that just shows the spirit we have at our club. When we become more consistent, it is going to mean big things for our future.

We had a game plan to defend as City like to have a lot of possession, it’s important to put structures into practice. When they did keep the ball we aimed to hit them on the counter and it worked to perfection.

Melina Ayres’ goal was out of this world. It was a stunning strike, followed by Christina Gibbons who came up with the winner and as captain I’m so proud of the team. I’m also really happy for Jeff Hopkins and all the hard work he does, for me one of the best managers if not the best in the league. Luckily we executed his game plan and was a great feeling to win.

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A key to our success was to frustrate City and put them off their game. You have to be on your toes with the players they’ve got because they’ll eat you alive. Their passing is elite they love to keep the ball and we knew that.

Our game plan nearly won it for us at AAMI Park earlier in the season, we actually had the better of the chances in the first half of that game: we’ll be looking to implement those tactics again at Epping Stadium.

We’ve won our last two games there against City and Canberra United so we’re very confident playing at that venue. I think it suits our style of play and maybe not City’s as much.

I thoroughly think we deserved the win and apart from their goal which was a really poor one to concede, I don’t remember Casey Dumont having to make too many saves.

It’s a credit to our squad particularly given the amount of local players we have. Only four of us including myself could be counted as full-time professionals, whereas everyone at City is full-time. It’s fantastic for the girls to match it with that type of opposition.

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Coming off a high like that we hoped to continue momentum, however our draw against Western Sydney Wanderers was a disappointing performance.

I believe the derby took it out of us a little bit, given the amount of energy we used to defend plus the mental side considering the effort that goes into those games. It wasn’t the best of performances and was a shame because if we won it probably would’ve put us in an even better position coming into the business end of the season.

For myself I was really pleased with that goal, I’ve been working on those a lot in training doing extra finishing and practice turning with my back to goal because hold-up play is my strength.

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As we prepare for the game against Sydney FC, we know it’s all about luck being on our side to make the finals.

Everyone seems to be doubting us which is fair enough but everyone in this Victory team still believes that we’re a chance. Every game that we go into we want to win, but Sydney are in unbelievable form and they haven’t lost in a long time.

On our day I believe we can beat anyone, if we turn up as the Victory team that showed up against City then we’ll give Sydney a really good test.

For us I think the pressure’s more on them than us, truthfully we’ve got nothing to lose we can just have some fun and express ourselves. They’ve got the pressure of securing the play-off spot and we are by far the underdog as well which always makes it more relaxed.

We’ve focused strongly about how to beat Sydney, I’m confident if we can have the same mindset as the City game then we’ll keep our play-off hopes alive.

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We owe Sydney a performance, away to them it was probably one of our poorest matches of the whole season. We need to show Sydney what this Victory team has been about this season.

 

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