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Dec 26, 2021   |  8:50PM AET

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Jeff Hopkins was disappointed by his side’s performance after a 5-1 Derby loss to City in the Liberty A-League.

Victory’s perfect start to the season came to an end as Hannah Wilkinson struck five times at AAMI Park on Boxing Day.

Maja Markovski came off the bench to score her first Liberty A-League goal late on.

Speaking to reporters post-match, Hopkins discussed his team’s display and the absence of Harriet Withers.

on the scoreline…
“I think it was probably a true reflection of the game. Our performance really took me by surprise, but the commitment to the way that City played and the way that they went about the game I think was a true reflection of the scoreline. We had a little bit of a go at the beginning of the second half, but even then it just wasn’t us. We didn’t commit to anything that we talked about going into the game – our press, our pressure, the way we were going to move the ball. It was a real disappointing performance for me, but maybe it had been coming for a few weeks. We had got away with a few things so it’s now a time for us to be honest with ourselves, take stock of where we are. Remember this time last year I think we were coming off a 6-0 defeat, from Brisbane I think it was, which turned out to be a bit of a godsend for us in terms of us looking at ourselves and sometimes you need a kick up the backside to actually make you see exactly where you are. I’m confident that we’ve got an honest group of players that will be thoroughly disappointed with how we’ve done things today. We look at ourselves as a coaching staff as well, how we prepared for the game and we’ll try and put things right for next week. That’s all we can do.”

on Withers missing the game…
“She had a bit of a groin strain from last week. She was kind of touch and go and we didn’t really want to risk her. She wasn’t available to play.”

on errors leading to goals…
“It is very difficult when you know that those players are more than capable of handling the ball. I think a couple of the first three came from our possession as well. I don’t know what it was, I don’t know, it came out of the blue the performance, but I think at this moment we can put it down to a one off, but the players have been made aware that it’s just not an acceptable standard. We need to be better. We are better than this, but we’re responsible and we need to take the action to put things right and that just might be being a little bit braver in possession. I think one of the things that disappointed me a little bit in the first half was the amount of times that we played backwards, which is obviously a pressing cue for our opponent, every time we go backwards, they step on and we talked about that through the week, about being positive, playing forward, playing through the press, we didn’t do it. Sometimes maybe a bit of pressure gets to players, but we’ve got to be above that and we’ve got to be brave enough to play the way that we want to play and if that means putting yourself in positions where you’re going to make mistakes or you might make mistakes, you’re going to have to do it. I’m confident enough this week has been a one off, but we need to make sure that we understand and the players understand that we’re not just going to put it down to a one off, we’re going to look for reasons and we’re going to make sure that we’re right for next week.”

on Markovski’s first goal…
“Maja came on last week and did really well for I think 20 minutes or so. I think she had a hand in our third goal. She’s been progressing really well, she gives us something a little bit different, gives us a little bit of height, gives us a target to play into her feet a little bit more so I was pleased that she’s come in, got the goal, hopefully that will spur her on a little bit just to keep the performances coming and pushing to push herself into the side.”