A resurgent Victory are flying high on top of the ladder

-

His side is on the rise, and coach Tony Popovic believes Melbourne Victory are capable of reaching new heights.

It’s been said time and again, but the past couple of seasons really haven’t been Victory’s best. But after bevy of off-season additions, both to the roster and the coaching staff, the club finds itself at the top of the A-League Men table a quarter of the way through their campaign.

Embed from Getty Images

 

In the aftermath of a resounding 3-1 win over previous table-toppers Western United, coach Popovic expressed overall satisfaction with his team’s performance, particularly in the first half.

“It was a good win against an impressive team. I thought we did some great stuff in the first half,” he said.

“We had to dig deep in the second half against a side that kept coming.”

Embed from Getty Images

Victory’s performance wasn’t flawless, however, as a lapse in concentration in the 87th minute allowed United back into the game via Aleksandar Prijovic. It took a calm finish from substitute Nick D’Agostino in the 94th minute to put the game beyond doubt.

Asked whether he thought the second-half stumble was his own side’s fault, Popovic was quick to point out that his men aren’t alone on the pitch out there.

Embed from Getty Images

“I think we have to give respect to the opponents, it’s not one team out there,” he said.

“We were playing against a team that was ahead of us on the table.”

Popovic added that he did also think there was plenty of room for improvement in his squad’s performance, particularly in that final 45 minutes.

“The second half shows how far we’ve got to go…we could’ve been a lot better,” Popovic said.

Embed from Getty Images

Attacking midfielder Jake Brimmer’s development this year is perhaps the perfect barometer for the side overall.

“He had a very good pre-season, and he’s a young player that you can see is growing with every match,” Popovic said.

“His good moments are getting longer, he’s extending the periods of his good play, and he’s very influential for us in the front-third.”

The two goals which made the difference in the match came inside two minutes and from the work of two unlikely goalscorers.

Embed from Getty Images

First it was defender Jason Geria scoring his first A-League Men goal in 126 appearances from a header, before captain Josh Brillante fired one into the back of the net from just outside the box.

Not needing to always rely on prominent goalscorers in Marco Rojas, Ben Folami and the aforementioned D’Agostino should give the Victory faithful confidence in their ability to get the job done on any given day.

All in all, the men down at AAMI Park look set for a big 2022.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Mitchell Turner
Third Year Undergraduate Arts Student at Monash University (Journalism Major). Generic sports tragic living out my failed dreams of going pro vicariously through other people.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required