Hopkins praises Victory character

Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins hailed his side’s character after a 1-0 win over Adelaide United on Friday.

Victory responded after back-to-back Westfield W-League losses with a hard-fought win at Marden Sports Complex.

Catherine Zimmerman headed in a 78th-minute winner to move Victory onto seven points from five games.

Hopkins said it was a good response from his team, particularly after the 6-0 loss to Brisbane Roar last time out.

“Obviously it’s been a tough week after last week’s result. Players have worked really hard but the character as a group was really there to be seen,” he said.

“It wasn’t a perfect performance, but it was the type of performance I was expecting. Girls rolled their sleeves up, worked really hard for each other, at times the quality still wasn’t as good as we can be. They did more than enough to win the game. I was really pleased, something definitely to build on for next week.

“The result was really important for us as well. The players knew that and we needed a good, strong, solid performance but also we knew that we couldn’t really afford to drop too many more points. The way we went about things was very pleasing.”

In her first Westfield W-League season, Zimmerman scored for the third time in five appearances.

Hopkins praised the way the forward, who headed in after Melina Ayres’ headed pass from Angela Beard’s set-piece, had settled.

“She’s done fantastic for us. I think she’s been one of the real highlights for us. She’s come in through pre-season, she’s getting better and better, her work rate is absolutely phenomenal,” he said.

“I think you got a bit of a glimpse of the quality she can bring as well in the second half, she kind of adjusted the way that she played a little bit. Instead of just looking to get balls in behind, she was checking off, coming to feet and bringing other people into the game which adds another dimension to what she does.”

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