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Nov 20, 2021   |  12:01PM AET

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic was delighted with making a winning start to the Isuzu UTE A-League season after overcoming Western United 1-0.

Roderick Miranda’s 75th-minute header gave Victory all three points at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

It marked just the third time in Club history that Victory won in Round 1, and first since 2014/15.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Popovic discussed the win, Roderick and Josh Brillante’s injury.

on the performance…
“First and foremost, we’re pleased to win the game. I think that was the most important thing. We know we didn’t play so well in the first half, I felt with the ball, but we stayed in the game. It was a tough first half of football for both teams, we’ve barely played for so long, it’s our first competitive game so scrappy at times but happy that we were solid as a unit and we looked well organised. In the second half, I felt we improved and we combined a lot better, moved the ball better and looked more of a threat so overall, 1-0 win, I’m delighted away from home.”

on Roderick…
“He’s a quality player that will only get better because he’s one of our late arrivals, only (Francesco) Margiotta came after him, so he will get better with his fitness but you could see tonight there’s a quality footballer and scored a fantastic goal as well.”

on Brillante…
“We had a late fitness test today to see so he’s very close. It was just a decision we thought is better for the long term for Josh, we’ll see how he goes this week and see if he can be available for the weekend. I doubt for Wednesday (against Perth Glory in the FFA Cup play-off). He might be available but we won’t risk it for that game considering we need to see him train three or four sessions now to be able to play.”

on winning Round 1…
“I’ve never won a Round 1 as a coach so it’s a first for me, so when we say we needed lift off, it’s a first for me as well. I think it’s great for the fans and you saw the support that the players had today was just excellent and I’m really looking forward to now seeing the big numbers that we get at our stadium when our members get a chance to come and cheer the team on and hopefully we can replicate the result and show them we need a better performance.”