Hopkins hails Victory fight, praises Alleway


Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins praised his team’s fight and Laura Alleway’s commitment after a 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets.

A spectacular goal from Melina Ayres and Natasha Dowie’s effort saw Victory claim its first win of the Westfield W-League season on Thursday.

While he felt Victory could have sealed its win earlier, Hopkins hailed his side’s fight after a four-day turnaround, singling out Alleway for particular praise after the defender played despite battling illness in recent days.

“The pleasing thing for us was that we created a huge amount of chances in a lot of different ways so I was really happy with that,” he said.

“We should’ve killed the game off a little bit earlier and probably been a little bit more comfortable against what was a very good side.

“They were still in the game, still pushing hard right in the last minute and most probably they shouldn’t have been, so that was probably the disappointing thing.

“I’ve got to give credit to the players. They knew they had to dig in for the last 15-20 minutes and Laura Alleway has got out of her sickbed to come here and she’s put in an amazing shift for us.

“Sam Johnson as well and the whole of the back four were excellent and the rest of the team, full of good, quality, technical players, rolled their sleeves up and worked hard to get the three points.”

Hopkins revealed Alleway, who starred alongside Johnson in the centre of defence, had been battling illness for several days.

“She was sick on the weekend. She had a very sore throat, she’d been sick, chest infection, she didn’t train (on Wednesday), she came in on Tuesday, had (Wednesday) off and last night she was really struggling,” he said.

“But that’s what you get from ‘Loz’, she’s 100 per cent committed to the team and she wasn’t going to miss the game.”