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Feb 08, 2022   |  9:04PM AET

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Jeff Hopkins was pleased with his side’s character and resilience after a 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets.

Brooke Hendrix’s second-half header was enough to earn Victory a third straight win in the Liberty A-League on Tuesday.

Hopkins wants to see more from his team, but was satisfied with his players’ character after numerous chances were squandered in the first half, yet they still found a way to earn an important three points.

on the win…
“It was really important that we did win. I thought the first-half performance gave us something to build upon for the second half, but we were a little bit disappointed with our performance in the second half. We talked about lifting the intensity, lifting the quality five or 10 per cent in the second half, which would allow us to really kick on with the game and I thought if we could’ve done that we would’ve gone on and won it quite comfortably, but that obviously wasn’t the case. We ended up making it hard for ourselves and they made it hard for us as well. Looking back at it, it’s always nice to win games, it’s always nice to win games and play really well, but that wasn’t the case today. I thought the first-half performance was good, second half we dropped below our standards, but we talked about it afterwards. The thing is sometimes in games where you’re not playing well, you’ve still got to do things that allow you to win the game and what we did do is we stayed in the game, we were desperate at times, we showed some real resilience there and character. Other days teams may have ended up drawing that game or losing that game even. We understand we need to be better and we definitely can be and will be better, but there’s still a lot of positive things to take out of the game, in terms of our resilience, our ability not to throw away that first-half performance and to come away with the three points which was really important for us as well.”

on holding on and third straight clean sheet…
“I think there was a bit of anxiety there from us, just for the fact that we knew we had been on top and we had opportunities to win the game and win it quite well and we hadn’t taken those. I think we’ve all been in games where that’s kind of come to bite you on the backside, late on in games and teams come back. It was more knowing that, that gave us that little bit of anxiety, rather than the fact we felt we were going to concede something. In terms of our third clean sheet on the spin, we take positives away and that’s obviously one of them, one of the big positives out of the game.”

on attacking combinations…
“That’s what we talked about at half-time. We looked pretty dangerous, we were creating things but it was often that final pass, even the intensity to get onto that final pass, to get into the scoring zones, to put the ball away that was letting us down. That was what we talked about mainly at half-time. At times we let them slow the game down and play it at their pace. We talked about at half-time needing to up the tempo and play it at our pace and at our tempo, but it didn’t really happen. It’s something for us to look at and to deal with. We’re trying to put things right every week and add something to our game every week so that’s obviously one of the things that we’ll take out of this game that we need to probably impose our game, the intensity of our game, on our opponent a little bit better than we did tonight.”

on Hendrix…
“She’s slotted in really well, both games actually. I thought she looked really solid with the ball, defensively her and ‘Bungey’ (Claudia Bunge) looked good together, I’m really, really pleased with her. I think she’s going to be a real asset for us as we get a little bit deeper into the season and the games start to get a little bit tougher as well.”