Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Jeff Hopkins was delighted with his attack after Saturday’s 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar.

Lynn Williams was the star of the show at Moreton Daily Stadium, scoring the opener and helping set up goals for Harriet Withers and Catherine Zimmerman.

Withers assisted Williams’ opener, while Zimmerman’s goal was her third in three games this season as Victory continued its perfect start to the Liberty A-League campaign.

Hopkins discussed the tough encounter, his makeshift defence – which featured Courtney Nevin at centre-back and Lia Privitelli at left-back – and his clinical front line.

on the game…
“It was a tough game, very tough game. In the first half, we had small spells of really good football, but we also conceded a lot of space and we let Roar get in behind us quite a few times and when we scored it was right against the run of play as well. If I had gone in at half-time as the Roar coach, I would’ve been disappointed to go one down. I think in the second half we came out really well, got an early goal and we looked comfortable there for a while, most probably had our best spell of the game early in the second half and we conceded a goal and it was backs to the wall for a little bit. Most probably not a comfortable win, but a win’s a win. I think, again, some really good things to come out of it, the goals we scored were top goals, we had spells in the game where we dominated possession, small spells, and there were some really good passages of play but most probably again we’re still quite a way off our best, just off our best form. I put that down to the fact we’re making a lot of changes every week, again we were forced to make a few changes, with ‘AJ’ (Amy Jackson) being suspended we moved the back four around, we played Lia Privitelli, who’s a right-winger playing at left-back, she came in and did a great job for us in there, we started Alana Murphy for her first start, we had a really young midfield, all almost 20 and younger. The continuity is not there because we’re changing team every week, but it’s fantastic that we’re saying this and we’re talking about this and it’s great that the players are being quite critical of themselves and saying we need to be better. I’m happy with where we’re sitting at the moment, three wins from three games, knowing that, as a coaching staff, we definitely think we can do a lot better and we can get a lot better and the players are thinking the same thing too so we’re on the same page and just looking forward to the game next week now.”

on the defence…
“It’s a bit like last week as well, for a big part of the game we did well, we brought Courtney into the middle, she’s played there a few times before but again she’s still learning the game in that position, much more comfortable as a left-back. At times, she looked really comfortable and swept up and did a really good job and there were a few occasions where she got caught a little bit which is understandable for a young player. We’ll most probably end up changing it again next week depending on who we’ve got available. We’ve got ‘AJ’, who got a one-game suspension from last week, so she’ll be back available, maybe Tiff Eliadis available next week as well so we’ll most probably be doing a little bit of work on the back four this week just to maybe give whoever plays there next week a little bit of time in the week to get used to the position because City were pretty good through the centre against us the last time we played.”

on Williams and the attack…
“That was the pleasing thing. When we did go forward and we did get the ball down and play and switch play, we looked very, very threatening, very, very dangerous. Obviously those three (Williams, Zimmerman and Withers), the threat they give with their pace must be pretty scary for opposition defences. The three of them are most probably three of the quickest players in the league and very, very happy with all three of them. Obviously, it’s fantastic to have a world-class player like Lynn out on the park for us and she definitely makes things happen every time the ball comes near her, but the other two as well. I thought Harriet was better this week, much better, scored a great goal at the beginning of the second half, set up by Lynn, and I thought Zimm’s been outstanding in all the games she’s played, Very, very pleased with the front three. And we must give Maja Markovski a bit of a mention as well. She came on for a good number of minutes in the second half and once she settled down, she did a really good job for us, very happy with our forward players for sure.”