Melbourne Victory relish in finals lead-up

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As we near the business end of another A-League Men season, Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic has made it clear that this is the part of the season he and his squad lives for.

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Speaking to the media late last week, Popovic stressed the importance of playing their best football late in the season when it matters most.

“We thrive off knowing that each game holds so much weight,” he said.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position, but obviously we need to keep winning to put pressure on the teams above us.

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After their 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar on Sunday, Victory is currently sitting on 13 consecutive games without a loss.

And while it wasn’t exactly the result they would’ve wanted, Popovic expressed admiration for his team after the match.

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“The pitch was extremely heavy, which made it difficult for us, considering we played on Friday night and had two and a half days between games,” he said.

“When you assess all that, and Brisbane having nine or 10 days between games…I’m very proud of the group.”

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Victory will have another short turnaround ahead of their home clash with Wellington Phoenix on April 29, but over the past couple of months Popovic’s men have shown they’re more than capable of backing up week-in, week-out.

Such capability will be very important over the final two weeks of the season, as with a genuine chance of surpassing Western United, and a distant chance of surpassing Melbourne City for first place, the squad still has plenty to play for.

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And importantly, they’re peaking at the right time. With Jake Brimmer back after missing due to concussion protocols, and Chris Ikonomidis and Marco Rojas managing to get through a full 90 minutes of action recently, Victory appear to ready to fire.

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Now they’re snapping at the heels of their Victorian rivals, and will be the hottest team in the league heading into finals where anything can happen.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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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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