Brebner praises Shotton leadership

Ryan Shotton

Melbourne Victory head coach Grant Brebner praised what Ryan Shotton has added to his squad after a 0-0 draw against Western United.

Victory kept its first clean sheet of the A-League season in an entertaining draw at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Brandon Lauton hit the post for Victory, while Alessandro Diamanti struck the crossbar twice for Western United.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Brebner discussed the result, Shotton and provided an injury update.

on a game of two halves…
“At half-time, we had an extra man in midfield, we wanted to exploit that and use it more so we spoke about it with Butts (Jacob Butterfield), Jake (Brimmer) and Leigh (Broxham) and it didn’t really happen for us. I think the legs were starting to pack in a little bit on the boys and we just couldn’t really get a dominance in that middle of the park whereas in the first half we did, whether it was the other night took it out of our legs a little bit, we don’t know. We will get better. We will continually get better. Three weeks ago we would’ve lost that game, without a doubt we would’ve lost that game three weeks ago, so we will get better.”

on Shotton…
“He is a leader. We need leaders. Last year when we played Western United in the hub we were beaten in the tunnel because they’ve got a presence about them, they’ve got some experienced players and Ryan certainly brings that to our team. He played really well tonight. Of course he’s sometimes a little bit casual and we have conversations about that, but he’s without a doubt shored up our defence and that’s our first clean sheet of the season.”

on Robbie Kruse…
“He’s absolutely not injured. It was touch and go, whether we put him in or not, but I swayed with the medical advice which was Robbie’s been out for 11 months, he’s played four games in about 15 days, there was a little bit of flagging of tightness after the game the other night. For me, I need Robbie to play a lot of games and if I risked him and he ended up losing game time I’d be kicking myself so he’ll be available for next weekend.”

on the result…
“There’s positives that we’ll take out of the game. We kept a clean sheet which was fantastic for our back four – Storm (Roux), Adama (Traore), Dylan (Ryan) and Ryan and I must mention Max (Crocombe). Maxy’s done terrifically well for us in the last two games as well. We will take a lot of confidence that we can hold out defensively, but we’ve still got a lot of things we want to work through.”

on Rudy Gestede and Callum McManaman…
“They’ve both got different injuries. With Rudy, being a hamstring you need to take a little bit more care so we won’t be rushing him. Cal, who I keep reminding just got a kick and he needs to toughen up a little bit so we’ll maybe push him this week to try and get in contention for next weekend.”

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