W-League | Hopkins laments “unacceptable” performance

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Melbourne Victory W-League coach Jeff Hopkins was optimistic yet realistic about his side’s performance on Sunday afternoon.

The Victory crashed to a 4-0 loss at the hands of Newcastle Jets in a lethargic outing at Lakeside Stadium.

Despite starting the better of the two sides Melbourne wasted early chances that Hopkins believes would’ve settled them.

“It obviously would’ve made a difference if you put one of those in. You score and your confidence lifts and the opposition are knocked a little bit,” said Hopkins.

“But I think in general we have got to look at ourselves and say we didn’t really compete well enough over the 90 minutes and that is something we have got to put right for this week. The standard dropped this week to an unacceptable level.”

After Natasha Dowie wasted early chances, Newcastle’s Megan Oyster opened the scoring with what Victory captain and fellow American Christine Nairn described as a “worldly free kick”.

“You know sometimes experienced players kind of take over,” Naird explained after the match.

“We played well in the first ten minutes but we gave away some unfortunate goals.”

Newcastle’s goals were scored off two set pieces and two poor back passes, mistakes that Nairn said can’t be made if the Victory want to succeed.

“I just think that the quality of this league is so high that if you give away a ball that you shouldn’t be playing, these players are going to capitalise and we just need to minimise the mistakes from player one all the way down to player 18.

“It is not just one player’s fault it is the entire team’s fault, but I just think we need to minimise the amount of mistakes and really just start to capitalise on the chances we do get, especially in the first five minutes.”

Although coming off the wooden spoon last season and currently winless this year, Hopkins believes that team chemistry and belief are not major concerns for the club at present.

“Team chemistry is really good,” Hopkins explained “we have just got to now lift the performance out on the park to that level as well.”

“It is quite an experienced squad if you look at it and I just feel that some of the players just need to have a little more confidence in their own ability to actually influence the game.”

The Victory play Sydney FC next week back at Lakeside Stadium in a challenge that Nairn believes will define their season; a season that they hope will extend to the finals.

“I think we have the capabilities to get to the finals but it is just about he we react to this one,” said the midfielder.

“Melbourne Victory is all about not letting ourselves dwell on [bad results] and responding well, so how we respond to this is going to determine the rest of our season.”

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Alexander Hatzikostas
Passionate Football writer, commentator, but most importantly fan.

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