Brebner: We’ll get better as match fitness comes

Storm Roux

Melbourne Victory head coach Grant Brebner expects his side to get better as his players’ match fitness improves.

Victory started its A-League season with a 3-1 loss to Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Callum McManaman scored a fine goal on his A-League debut to cancel out Scott McDonald’s opener, but Macaulay Gillesphey and Dylan Wenzel-Halls netted in the second half for Brisbane.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Brebner discussed the game and several of his players.

on the game…
“I didn’t know where we would be at fitness wise because we haven’t played a game obviously for three weeks, coming out of quarantine as well. I didn’t see it coming either at half-time. I did think we were very good in the first half and we obviously didn’t start in the second and then the goal comes at a time for us. We did look a little bit flat.”

on McManaman…
“Right now it’s obviously nice for him to get the goal, but obviously the loss is more immediate to me than new signings. We’ll obviously have a good, hard look at the video and we’ll see where we can improve. We’re going to get better and better and better as match fitness comes, unfortunately these are games again where we’re getting judged. We haven’t played a friendly at all going into both competitions.”

on Marco Rojas…
“He’s got a slight hamstring that I’ve just spoken to the physio about just now. Marco indicated that it was okay, I think we could see he did have some issues with it in the first half, but he didn’t see it as being too much of a problem. If it was, he would’ve come off straight away. I certainly would’ve brought him off. He indicated he was okay so I’ll see when I have a further chat with him.”

on Ryan Shotton…
“I think quarantine has been an unknown factor for us, we don’t know really how much of a toll it takes on a body sitting upright in an armchair for two weeks. Yes, we can put in a bike to keep them going, but nothing is the same as running around on a football pitch. Ryan will fall into the category of getting him fit and when he’s right, he’ll play.”

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