Hopkins happy with Victory improvement

Melina Ayres

Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins was pleased with further improvement from his team after a 4-2 win over the Newcastle Jets on Sunday.

Victory climbed into fourth on the table after a second straight win as Melina Ayres scored a brace to go with goals from Claudia Bunge and Kyra Cooney-Cross at Latrobe City Stadium in Morwell.

After back-to-back losses, Victory has rebounded with wins over Adelaide United and the Jets, putting it back on track for a top-four finish.

Hopkins said the gradual improvement from Victory was pleasing, with the three points also crucial.

“We spoke about this a couple of weeks ago that our next four games are going to be crucial for us. They’re games that we need to come out of with three points and hopefully each game we can work on a few things and make ourselves a little bit better in certain areas,” he said.

“I think we definitely were. We looked very, very good going forward today at times. Our ability to go one versus one and beat opponents and deliver the ball into the box or into players making forward runs was better than it’s been.

“But also there were a few things that we need to improve on. We locked them in really well in the first half, didn’t allow them to get out and just built pressure and built momentum, but second half we didn’t do that at all. That’s most probably a part of our game I was disappointed with in the second half, but it’s something we’ve identified and we’ll work on and make it better for next game.

“The main thing was over our last two games we’ve improved in areas and we’ve picked up the three points as well, that’s really important.

“Most probably after the next couple of games what we’ve said was we’ll have a look at ourselves then and kind of reassess to where we are in terms of being a top-four team and going forward into the finals hopefully.”

Victory’s next outing is scheduled to be a trip to Newcastle to face the Jets on February 20.