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Jan 10, 2024   |  4:31PM AET

Kayla Morrison | Turning the Tide

Kayla Morrison | Turning the Tide

“It felt like we were at a really low point last week, so there’s nothing to lose. We need to go out, find the fun again, start connecting with each other, find that compatibility on the field.”

It’s been a mixed start to the season for Victory’s Women’s side as they now sit 7th on the Liberty A-League table, just two points out of finals.

Jeff Hopkins’ side started the new season on the back foot, losing their first two matches only to then go six games unbeaten.

Despite having lost three in a row, dropping out of the top four, captain Kayla Morrison remains optimistic about the team’s second half of the season, underscoring the resilience and leadership within the squad.

Reflecting on the recent string of losses, Morrison stressed the need for a shift in mentality.

“It felt like we were at a really low point last week, so there’s nothing to lose. We need to go out, find the fun again, start connecting with each other, find that compatibility on the field,” she said.

“I thought the first 20 minutes of last week was really good. If we can build off of that and not worry so much about the negative side of things and turn them into positives, then we’ll be fine.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 06: Kayla Morrison of Melbourne Victory in action during the A-League Women round 11 match between Melbourne Victory and Western United at La Trobe University Sports Fields, on January 06, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)

Looking towards the positives, Matildas striker Emily Gielnik is set to make her return to action in the coming weeks, and Morrison emphasised how important not only her on-field prowess is but also her off-field contributions.

“Em on the field is spectacular. She’s amazing. But off the field, she’s an even better person. She brings so much energy, leadership and experience,” she said.

“She’s a really good teacher, but then to have her on the field, you’ve always got an option. She can make your worst pass into a good pass.

“To have her on the field will bring energy, and I think it’ll bring a sense of calm to the girls as well.”

One of the biggest strengths this Victory side has is the diversity of leaders within the squad, with Morrison highlighting the importance of each player bringing their unique strengths and experiences.

“I’m probably one of the more hot-headed people along with KK, so we know that what we can provide is leadership through our play,” she explained.

“But then you have someone like Emma (Checker), who’s definitely more of a leader through words.

“And then you have Gielnik, who’s an action leader and a word leader.

“Everyone brings their own thing, leadership-wise and experience-wise, and I think that’s what makes a good team.”

Looking ahead to the match against Perth, Morrison said she expects a similarly tough game to last time.

“The last time we played them was one of our better performances. I think this is a good time for us to be playing them,” she said.

“Perth are a good team but I think we play better football against better teams.”