Jeff Hopkins eager for further improvement in W-League


Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins was pleased with his team’s improvement during the Westfield W-League season, but he wants it to build on the campaign.

Victory collected seven points in the second half of 2016/17, including wins over Brisbane Roar and City.

While Hopkins was satisfied with the results, he wants to see Victory continue improving.

“We did get real improvement through the second half of the season, which was pleasing,” he said.

“But for me we had to change and go away from the way that I really wanted the team to play, just to get some results. It’s now about thinking about how we can recruit to play a more proactive style of football.

“We had to resort to dropping off deep and maybe frustrating oppositions, where we really want to be a team that takes the game to the opposition and plays a lot more of an expansive game.

“The results were better in the second half of the season, but most probably the playing style of the team wasn’t what we really wanted so we had to make a few adjustments.

“For me, that was a double-edged sword. I was glad that we improved with our performances, but the way we went about it was probably against the way I really want to play as a team.”

Despite a gutsy 3-3 draw away to Adelaide United in Round 1, Victory made a slow start to the season.

Hopkins praised the character of his players for their response, but his focus is on improved performances.

“I’ve been pleased with a number of things and our ability to create goalscoring opportunities was definitely one of them. We did that week in, week out,” he said.

“We caused a number of the top sides a lot of problems as well, so we just need to build on that and make sure we can do it a lot more consistently and within a structure that allows us to do that consistently through the game as well, without putting ourselves in jeopardy to opponents breaking on us and breaking us down.”