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Feb 04, 2023   |  12:16AM AET

Post-Match Reaction: “No one has lost belief within this football club” – Popovic

Post-Match Reaction: “No one has lost belief within this football club” – Popovic

Melbourne Victory head coach Tony Popovic credited the belief of his playing group as the key to Friday night’s turnaround result against Wellington Phoenix.

On the performance…

“We extended our minutes from last week – we played good for 55-odd minutes.”

“The difference was last week when we conceded…we were vulnerable.”

“Today, 1-0 down was different. I think that’s testament to the players and the character they showed in difficult circumstances, where we are on the table. That’s a credit to the group.”

On what made the difference tonight…

“It’s their quality and it’s their belief.”

“I watch them train, and I said before the game I watched an outstanding week’s training.”

“Does that guarantee a result? No. But that guarantees belief for me.”

“(From) 1-0 they showed their quality and belief to come back and score three goals, and then showed resilience and desperation at the end which is what you need.”

On the importance of the win…

“Wins always help.”

“But it’s still only one game.”

“There are things to build on and a lot more to improve. But it’s a good step in the right direction.”

On taking chances…

“Taking the moments was the difference today.”

“They had one cross. Quality goal, quality header – that’s the way it has been so far.”

“But we took our moment(s) today.”

“It was a great move (the first goal), Jakey’s (Jake Brimmer’s) ball, we had three players in the box and the ball fell to Bruno (Fornaroli).

“Today we created good moments, very good moments.”

“Overall I’m just happy for the players, happy for the club, happy for the fans that, now finally coming back in, and they can go home and celebrate a victory.”

“It’s been a tough period for everyone, but no one has lost belief in this football club.”

On Brimmer’s goal…

“Jakey’s now again at the point where he was last year, where now you see a free-kick and you expect that maybe it goes in.”

“He’s physically and mentally in a very good place, he scored a fantastic goal last week.”

“But today’s goal contributed to a well-deserved win.”

On breaking the cycle of poor results…

“No one does these things for you – you have to earn it.”

“We had to chase a game again, so you have to earn everything you get.”

“We earned what we got today and scored three goals.”

On Leigh Broxham’s performance…

“(Broxham is) someone who has been sick all week with the runs, things that are unpleasant, no training.”

“You see a guy, at his age, that you can rely on like that and play basically to the last minute. So special mention for him because it was a special performance from a real leader today.”

On Bruce Kamau’s arrival…

“He arrived yesterday, trained immediately. Was happy to train.”

“(But) he was very fatigued and very tired. From a selfish point of view we could have thrown him on the bench, but for his own wellbeing and thinking about Bruce and what he can deliver for us, it was best to keep him out.”

“Today he looks a lot fresher after a bit of sleep.”

“We’ve got a nine-day turnaround so that will help to get some good training, get him to know his teammates a bit better and understand our playing style.”

On the improving fitness of the squad…

“Maybe for the first time this year we played the same team (as last week), so we didn’t have to change anyone.”

“You could see that that continuity also helped the group.”

“We’ve got players coming (back) in which always helps. We need depth and quality in our squad and I’m sure that that will grow as we continue now.”

On potential new additions to the squad…

“We’ve got a few days – we’ve got until the 7th (until the transfer window closes).”

“There are a lot of things happening at the moment, a lot of discussions which will probably continue tonight and tomorrow.”

“You never know how these things land. When you think it’s happening it doesn’t, and when you think that one’s gone, it reappears.”

“We won’t have to wait long. You won’t have to wait long either. Tuesday we’ll be clear whether we’ve got one, two, no players. Whatever it will be will be known very soon.”