Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat praised Leigh Broxham’s performance in a 2-1 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Broxham returned to centre-back and helped Victory extend its unbeaten run to nine matches in the Hyundai A-League on Saturday, including producing an excellent goal-line clearance in the second half.
Ola Toivonen’s brace – set up by James Troisi and coming either side of Alexander Baumjohann’s penalty – saw Victory to its win.
Speaking at a post-match news conference, Muscat discussed his side’s win and its response to Baumjohann’s equaliser.
On the win…
“At the end of the day, we scored a couple of good goals and earnt the result via that. It was a difficult night in difficult conditions. What we expected we certainly got because Western Sydney were very spirited, made it one hell of a contest and we had to defend very well. Lawrence (Thomas) made a few good saves, Leigh Broxham was outstanding giving away some height to (Oriol) Riera and winning a lot of those battles. It was a different type of win for us, however, ultimately, we scored two goals and earnt the result.”
on the equaliser…
“At that stage, it’s a lofted ball into the box and Western Sydney put us under a lot of pressure with putting balls into the area and asking us to defend and, on that occasion, we didn’t execute from a hopeful cross. It was a great bit of skill to come inside and get the penalty. From our perspective, for the majority of the night those situations we dealt with quite comfortably, but on that occasion we didn’t. From there, you have a look and you see what sort of reaction there’ll be from the team and I thought our reaction was spot on. Going forward and Ola gets his second goal and again earnt the right to go ahead in the game and in the end held on. I think the positive reaction we had from the team when we conceded an equaliser was great.”
on players stepping up…
“With the intensity of the game and the conditions, it was a different type of game. Josh Hope has come in for one of his few starts and he worked hard and he’s still learning. He showed some real good signs. Like anyone coming into the standard of senior football, he needs to work on his conditioning and naturally when you fatigue your decision making becomes a little bit harder and your technique becomes a little bit harder. Leigh has to go back into centre-back. We’ve had to shuffle the decks a little bit. From that perspective, I’ve got nothing but admiration for the group, the way Leigh has come in and last week he’s playing in his more preferred position in midfield and it only lasts nine or 10 minutes because Nick (Ansell) gets injured. Then he’s got to go to centre-back and I thought he was outstanding tonight. Leigh Broxham typified the performance that was needed with the conditions and with a very spirited Western Sydney team that asked a lot of questions of us, he was outstanding.”