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May 23, 2021   |  11:18AM AET

Kean pleased with impact of youngsters

Kean pleased with impact of youngsters

Melbourne Victory interim head coach Steve Kean praised the impact of his younger players after a 1-0 loss to Adelaide United in the A-League.

Craig Goodwin’s first-half goal at AAMI Park on Sunday proved to be enough for Adelaide.

Victory pushed hard late, thanks largely to the introductions of Lleyton Brooks and Nishan Velupillay, but was unable to find an equaliser.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Kean praised their impact and discussed the game, as well as injured pair Marco Rojas and Robbie Kruse.

on youngsters providing a spark…
“I think we showed in the last couple of games when we’ve introduced them later on in the game they’ve got energy, but more than energy they’ve got quality and I think for Nishan Velupillay and also for Lleyton Brooks they’ve got bright futures with the club. Like I said a few weeks ago, I think they just need to be given the right amount of time. It’s sometimes easy to throw them on a little bit earlier, I just feel as though they have to grow into more of a space and more time on the pitch but they’ve certainly shown that they’ve got quality and I think they changed the game a little bit, changed the dimension of the game, gave good service, gave good spark and I felt those two were great. We made another substitution bringing Elvis Kamsoba on, just to be a little bit more offensive, nothing against Jay Barnett he done well first half, but we just needed to try and score the next goal and I felt that it was coming, we felt it was coming but it never arrived unfortunately.”

on whether youngsters will get more chances…
“We’ll see. I think if we’re thinking about where they would play, Callum McManaman I thought was excellent, maybe we could’ve brought on some of the younger boys at half-time but when we’re trying to win games, when Callum McManaman is delivering things into the box with great accuracy, he’s a senior player and we’re only here to try and win games, then if we can give an opportunity to showcase some of the younger boys then we will. It’s not a case of just throwing all the young boys on and throwing the senior boys away, far from it, they deserve their opportunity to play and try and grind out results for us and I think they’ve squeezed every bit of energy and everything out that they’ve had in the locker, then when they’re empty, we’ll get the young boys on which overall we would’ve been good value for at least a draw tonight. It just seems to be that’s where we’re at at the moment, we’re giving it everything, we’re just not getting that little chance that maybe hits a post and goes in.”

on motivation…
“I think everybody’s always got something to play for. We’ve got guys that are running out of contract and they probably want to stay at a club of this stature so there might not be as far as the table’s concerned, but we certainly don’t want to finish bottom of the table and each player is playing for their future. If it’s here, if they’re in the plans then they want to stake a claim for that, if they’re not I’m sure they’ll be wanting to stake a claim for a contract somewhere else. There’s always something to play for. Young players are potentially playing for a professional contract if they’re on a scholarship contract so there’s always something and there’s always somebody watching so I don’t think really anybody can put that at the players’ door, that they’re not motivated to play. If passion is seen as crunching tackles and that type of thing I think that’s gone out of the game unfortunately. I do like to see people in one v one challenges and trying to win headers and tackles, I think that’s maybe just the nature of the game that we’re seeing less and less of that, but as far as effort and attempted passion if you want to call it that I think our guys are giving everything.”

on Rojas and Kruse…
“I think he (Rojas) is going to struggle to get back on the park, hopefully we’ll see Robbie Kruse but at this moment that’s looking unlikely as well so we’re thin on the ground, hence the reason as well why we’ve seen some more of the young guys coming in as well.”