Post-match reaction: Hopkins credits character for Wanderers win

Jeff Hopkins was pleased with the character shown by his team in Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, as well as foreshadowing a major inclusion for next week.

On the performance…

“We were most probably a little bit inconsistent.”

“I thought we started the game really well. We got ourselves into a good lead and were playing well.”

“We turned over the ball a fair bit, most probably too much in the first half, and that caused us a few problems.”

“Very happy with the result. Very happy with a lot of the performance. Very happy with the character the girls showed to keep going at the end.”

“I said to [the team] afterwards, I’m still quite pleased (even though) it was nowhere near a complete performance…to beat them (Western Sydney) when not at our best gives me a fair bit of confidence that, when we are, we’ll be ready for anyone in the league.”

On the tactical battle…

“The opposition were good today. They’re always a threat. The two players up front they had, with their pace and energy – although I thought Kayla (Morrison) and Claudia (Bunge) handled them quite well – they were always a threat.”

“The basic shape that they played – they had an extra player in midfield – caused us a few problems at times.”

On Catherine Zimmerman’s return…

“She’s worked really hard to get back from what was quite a bad injury.”

“She’s got back in record time as well.”

“To come off the bench, I was really pleased for her that she could make a huge contribution.”

“She got in front, forced the player to play through her for the penalty which was great, and obviously was there to set Tiff (Eliadis) up for the final goal.”

“Really pleased for her, and the girls were really pleased to get her back as well.”

On the team’s progress this season…

“We had a poor start, lost our first two games.”

“Last week was a big roadblock for us and a wakeup call.”

“But we were on an eight-game unbeaten streak then (before last week’s game).”

“We’ve been in good form. We’ve been trying to put a few things right every week and get a little bit better each week and I think, apart from last week, we’ve been doing that.”

“I think we took a few steps forward again this week in terms of our character and the way that we dealt with a heavy defeat last week and came back and won this week.”

“I’m comfortable and quite happy where we are at the moment.”

On Melina Ayres’ impending return…

“We should get Melina Ayres back next week.”

“To have her back and have Zim (Catherine Zimmerman) back, two of our top players back in a couple of weeks, it’s quite refreshing.”

“I’m getting a little bit more relaxed by knowing that she’ll be back next week as well.”