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Mar 04, 2022   |  7:38PM AET

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Jeff Hopkins was pleased to get the job done after his team secured a place in the Liberty A-League Finals Series.

Victory drew 0-0 with Canberra United at AAMI Park on Friday, clinching fourth spot on the table.

Casey Dumont produced a fine performance, while Melina Ayres – who like the goalkeeper was playing her 50th league game for Victory – made her return from injury off the bench.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Hopkins discussed the performance and that duo.

on the performance…
“I thought there were some very good patches if play, probably what we lacked was consistency to do it for longer periods and then I think second half still a little bit of fatigue and a bit of anxiety as well from the team and obviously you’ve got to say that Canberra could easily have just thrown the towel in and not come out second half and performed and they came out and they were excellent. They made a real game of it and made it really hard for us and if you look at their team, they’ve got some really quality players in there. We looked at them, we didn’t underestimate what they were like so they performed really well, especially in the second half, and made it very, very difficult for us. I guess maybe a little bit naïve at times in the way we managed the game so we’ve got to have a think about that, especially going into finals, but look, a little bit inconsistent but again good practice, today was a final for us and we’ve come through and we’ve done what we needed to do so at the end of the day that’s really what counts today.”

on the naivety…
“I think you cut out transition and we would’ve been well on top in the game and we would’ve been able to just build on the attacks that we were having. What we do normally is we attack, we lock teams in, we win the ball back, we attack again and we build momentum and we build pressure and that’s how a lot of our goals are scored. Today it became too open a game and I take a bit of the blame for that, maybe the way that I built the game up to be a game that we had to win, we could easily have talked about drawing the game and being a little bit more negative, but look it’s something I’ll learn going into next week’s game and I think it’s something we can, with a change in our structure, put right quite easily.”

on Dumont…
“That’s why wherever I go, she’s number one on my list of trying to get her to that Club. She was fantastic today, just in her own right, but when you know what’s happened, she was in the hospital with a suspected broken leg on Saturday night, she was on crutches and a cast on Sunday so to get up and play the game is just amazing, great character and she performed really well and kept us in the game at times.”

on Ayres…
“It was important that she came on and got some game time, just for her confidence. I think when you’ve been out that long, I think it’s over three months now, lots of things going on in your head, you’re never really sure how you’re going to be when you get into a game, she’s come in today and done really well, done everything that we’ve asked of her and so I think she’ll be really confident and I’ll be very confident for a lot more game minutes maybe next week.”