Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins believes his team has plenty of room to improve despite extending its unbeaten start to the season.
Natasha Dowie’s hat-trick guided Victory to a 3-2 win over Sydney FC, seeing the club consolidate top spot in the Westfield W-League after starting the campaign with a four-game unbeaten run.
But Hopkins, whose team held on at Jubilee Stadium despite a late red card to Angela Beard, feels Victory can still get better.
“It’s been a really good start and we’ve had a tough start as well – we’ve played three of the top four from last season and we’ve beaten all of them,” he said.
“One of the pleasing things is there’s still a fair way for us to go. There are still a number of things we need to get better at and I think the players know that and they’re willing to work at it.
“We’ll just keep chipping away every day, trying to get better and better and hopefully we’ll keep moving forward.”
Dowie’s hat-trick saw Victory to a third straight win despite goals from Chloe Logarzo and Alanna Kennedy for Sydney.
Hopkins saw plenty he liked from his side, which defended strongly for long periods away from home.
“I’m really happy with a number of things, obviously the quality of our finishing from Tash was amazing,” he said.
“We set up to play a certain way and it was really pleasing that we identified a number of areas that we really wanted to be effective in. We knew we couldn’t just go there and attack, so we’ve got a lot of respect for them as a team and the players within that team.
“We thought we had a good game plan and what was pleasing was the girls followed it almost to the letter. The sending off wasn’t in the script.
“And just when we defended, we defended as a team, we put our bodies on the line, we just worked so hard and it was really pleasing. On another day, I think we had another at least three or four really good chances which we most probably would’ve put away.
“I was pleased for the team, pleased for Tash and as a team performance, it was great. The back four and the goalkeeper were excellent, our midfield worked so hard and again our wingers and our front three did well going forward but when they had to turn around and work back the other way, they never went missing. I was very, very happy with it.”