McManaman’s debut marred by questions about team fitness

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Callum McManaman has given himself every chance to become a Mebourne Victory fan-favourite, but his dazzling debut was spoiled by a 3-1 loss to Brisbane Roar.

The Englishman started off the game well in the first 15 minutes.

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His silky footwork, teasing crosses into the box and genuine passion showed he means business.

Yet, it was his side that found themselves 1-0 down after an easy goal to Scott McDonald 16 minutes in.

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That was when McManaman tried to put his team on his shoulders. Eight minutes after his team went down, the 29-year-old received the ball on the edge of the box and blasted the ball into the top corner for a goal in his A-League debut.

However, he was not done trying yet, with another shot outside the box narrowly missing the target as Jamie Young looked on helplessly.

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Despite his thrilling performance, Victory failed to utilise McManaman’s energy and went down 3-1 after looking second-best for large patches of the second half.

This was the main concern for Victory head coach Grant Brebner, who was in no hurry to concentrate on individual performances.

“The loss is more immediate to me than new signings”, he said.

While McManaman’s debut was impressive, Brebner was adamant that the team needs to lift.

The loss rose questions about Victory’s fitness levels, as the team looked like a shadow of themselves in the second half compared to the first.

The players simply failed to apply the same intensity after the break, which allowed the Roar to grow back into the game.

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“We need games,” Brebner said.

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Roar coach Warren Moon admitted the slower pace of the second half was a combination of his instructions to players and Victory’s fade-out.

He said he was pleased with his side’s performance and thought they deserved the result, with the three goals not a surprise.

“It was down to both,” he said.

“We are going to create chances with the players we have.”

Victory have until next Sunday to improve their fitness levels before facing the Roar once again, this time at Dolphin Stadium.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Bogdan Vlasyuk
Bogdan Vlasyuk
Total football fanatic. Supporter of the Melbourne Victory and Dynamo Kyiv :)

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