Hopkins happy with Victory form ahead of Semi-Final


Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins is pleased with his side’s improving form ahead of a Westfield W-League Semi-Final against Sydney FC.

Victory has won six of its past seven games heading into Saturday’s clash at Epping Stadium, including beating the Sky Blues in the final round of the regular season.

Hopkins has been happy with Victory’s improvement after surging to finish second on the table, but is also wary of Sydney.

“The ideal scenario is you hit form and you get a good run of games and wins leading into finals and that’s kind of where we’ve been, with just one notable hiccup (in the Derby),” he said.

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“In general, the performances have been getting better and better the longer the season has gone.

“I think the players are in really good nick, they’re in good form and they’re reasonably confident.

“It’s a good place to be but we’re not underestimating Sydney, they’re a very, very good side and we’ve got a lot of respect for them as a team, got a lot of respect for Ante (Juric) as a coach as well.

“We’re expecting the hardest game of the season so it’s good that we are in good form because we’re going to have to play better and for longer than we’ve played all season so it’s still a big challenge for us.”

Victory returns to Epping Stadium, where it is unbeaten in five games – a run that has featured four wins.

Hopkins, whose side was last in action in their 3-1 win over Sydney on February 29, is pleased to be playing in Epping again.

“It’s been a good home for us. We’ve had some real memorable wins there as well,” he said.

“I’m happy to be playing there, the girls are happy to be playing there, we’re very comfortable playing there so really looking forward to the game on Saturday now.

“It can’t come quick enough now.”