Fatigue to blame for Victory’s flat performance, while Perth rides high after strong win

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After five games within the span of a fortnight, Melbourne Victory has slumped to it’s first loss since mid-January.

After winning the first three games of their packed run of matches, the squad had to settle for a solitary point in a 2-2 draw with league-leaders Sydney FC, before going down to Perth Glory on Saturday night.

“I think the game against Sydney mid-week took a lot out of us, more than we thought,” coach Jeff Hopkins said after the 2-0 loss to Perth.

“It was a good performance, it just lacked a bit of energy, especially in that final third, and I put that down to fatigue.”

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Despite the fatigue, there will not be much let up for the Victory just yet, with a match against Canberra United set for Tuesday before they travel to Adelaide to face the Reds on Saturday.

Maintaining composure and focus will be essential for Victory during this period. While they’ are not really in any danger of falling out of the playoffs – as they are 12 points clear of the current final qualifier, Newcastle Jets – they have a chance to fall as low as fifth or climb as high as first on the strength of these last handful of matches.

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Hopkins said that the key to success in their next match against Canberra would be moving on from this contest as quickly as possible.

“The games are coming thick and fast for everyone at the moment, I think teams will be taking points off everyone, but every game is an important game for us,” he said.

“Something we all have to do as professional coaches and professional athletes is move on to the next match.

“We’ll review this game very quickly, have a look at a few things we can take from it into our next game, and then away we go.”

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Meanwhile, Perth Glory coach Alex Epakis was ecstatic with his side’s performance, describing the mood around the group as “emotional”.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, more so because of our performance,” he said.

“We don’t like to win games off the cuff, we like to win them via a process, and we did that on this occasion.”

It’s a big debate amongst coaches about how you approach dealing with heightened feelings and emotions around a playing group.

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Some coaches like to keep a level temperament, while others like to use the emotion of sport as a fuel to push their team to even greater heights. For Epakis, the solution is certainly the latter.

“As a group we thrive of emotion, and we’re very motivated because we’re so connected,” he said.

“We want to ride that emotion and use it to our advantage to try and achieve success, it’s something I want to continue to tap into over the rest of the season.”

Feature Image Credit: Dan Ulman

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Mitchell Turner
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.

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