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Feb 12, 2022   |  8:52PM AET

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Jeff Hopkins was delighted with his side’s display in a 5-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers.

A brace from Catherine Zimmerman and goals from MelindaJ Barbieri, Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin helped Victory to a fourth consecutive win in the Liberty A-League on Saturday.

Victory returned to third on the table following the resounding win at AAMI Park.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Hopkins discussed the performance, the impressive display by Cooney-Cross and the futures of Alex Chidiac and Claudia Bunge.

on the game…
“We were saying it’s nice actually to just sit down and relax a little bit in the last 15 minutes of the game, knowing that the game was kind of put to bed and was safe. I thought the first 65, 70 minutes, we were excellent. We came out and started the game really well, against a team that were pretty motivated to come here and beat us. The game was reasonably even I thought and then we get the first goal, get the second goal and most probably a bit of … quality from our players just took the game our way and then we had a really good positive half-time and the girls came out really on fire. It was really good to see. We had a similar type of performance mid-week against Newcastle, where we just didn’t put the chances away and the message coming out of that game was that we’re not too far away from putting a lot of goals past a team, let’s see if we can make it this weekend and to their credit the team did a fantastic job.”

on Cooney-Cross…
“She’s a super talented player. She can play in just a number of positions, her versatility and she can play as well in one position as the next. I guess for us we’re just looking at a position where she can help us win the game most. At the moment, she’s doing fantastically well out wide, we were able to move her into the middle, play her as a nine towards the end of the game and wherever you put her she looks very dangerous. I can’t say enough in praising her and her performance today and just the fact that she’s happy to play in a position that suits the team and is best for the team, which I think for a young 20-year-old to do is very mature and shows the maturity of her and it shows that she’s going to be a hell of a player, she’s going to be a hell of a player over the next few years and I’m really hoping that we can see her playing in the World Cup here next year, which would be kind of a dream of mine that she gets there and we can actually see her at her best playing there.”

on if Cooney-Cross is a confidence player…
“Confidence player I don’t know. Obviously most players like when they’re on top of things, when they’re on top of their game, when they’re scoring goals, people being nice and positive with them and talking and saying good things about them. It’s nice and it’s a boost and she definitely like most people reacts to that really positively, but she’s got another side to her game where if things aren’t going well for her, we saw a couple of great examples with that at Newcastle last week where she’s sprinted 60 metres, slide tackle, win the ball, gets up and goes the other way as well. I’m confident that her character is pretty solid and things are going well for her she’ll be great but when things turn against us, which they do at times, she’ll stand up and she’ll do her job for the team.”

on if Chidiac will stay until the end of the season…
“I’m pretty sure she won’t. I think the transfer window will close very soon so she’ll go back before the closure of the transfer window, but on a personal note she’s been fantastic since she’s been here. Within the group, the girls love her, she’s a great character, she’s a total football person, she’s had an effect on a lot of the players and I’d love to have her here on a permanent basis and I’ll definitely be working hard even when she goes back to get her back here as soon as possible.”

on Bunge’s departure for international duty…
“We lose ‘Bungey’ so more than likely our options will be to drop ‘AJ’ (Amy Jackson) back into there, gives us good balance there, left and right. Tiff (Eliadis), we tried to get her some good game time today. I think she’ll get some game time on Wednesday as well so maybe as a central defender, maybe as a central midfield player but more than likely we’ll bring ‘AJ’ into there and put Brooke (Hendrix) onto the right. The other option we also have is putting Lia (Privitelli) back into left-back and Courtney (Nevin) playing as left centre-back – again a left-footer and a right-footer is very important for us. We’ve got a few options so we’ll see how everyone pulls up after the game and most probably make a decision tomorrow or Monday.”