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Mar 19, 2022   |  10:44PM AET

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic believes his team showed the progress it has made in Saturday’s 1-1 Derby draw against City.

Marco Rojas’ opener was cancelled out by Curtis Good at AAMI Park, where Victory had numerous chances.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Popovic discussed the game, his side’s progress and the form of Ben Folami, who set up Rojas’ goal.

on the game…
“I think overall it was a very good performance from us, very good. I think today we showed progress from the last match. I think we competed well in the last game, we could’ve won the last Derby, today we should’ve won, I think that’s the difference. We should’ve won today.”

on backing up after AFC Champions League…
“If we want to be a big Club, which this is a big Club, when I say big Club I mean in terms of challenging on all fronts and having difficulty in terms of many games that comes from success. If we want to be that Club then we have to deal with that and there was no talk after Wednesday about how fatigued we would be in the game, we just talk about how we can win the game. I thought the players were outstanding, I thought that first half, the amount of chances we created, how dangerous we looked, we defended so well, I don’t think Ivan (Kelava) touched the ball in the first half, but they’re a top side and right on half-time we lost the ball and then corner and they scored. In the second half, we tried to win the game, we were positive, aggressive, and then in the end with fatigue we had to defend three or four corners consecutive and we were very desperate in our defending. We definitely deserved something out of the game, I thought three points, but okay, we take a point against the champions and we look forward to playing them again soon.”

on progression…
“I thought chances created and how dangerous we looked. They press very high and they make it difficult for you to play out. We kept persisting to play. It’s not always going to come off, we looked defensively very solid and compact and I thought when our wingers got on the ball we gave them a lot of problems. It’s a shame Nick (D’Agostino) fell over with the goal open, that’s 2-0 and they scored a minute later. That’s football. They’re fine margins, they’re details. We know now that we can certainly compete with Melbourne City, that’s clear.”

on Ben Folami…
“He took another step today. He is a very important player for us, but he’s becoming more consistent. He was excellent in Japan when he came on. It’s difficult playing the position he does, there’s a lot of repeat efforts with and without the ball, he’s taking on that responsibility and I think he’s giving defenders regardless of who it is many problems.”