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Mar 23, 2022   |  10:08PM AET

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic paid tribute to Leigh Broxham after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Western United in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Broxham became the first player to feature in 350 Isuzu UTE A-League games for a single club, coming off the bench at AAMI Park.

Brendan Hamill cancelled out Nikolai Topor-Stanley’s goal as Victory was left frustrated after creating numerous chances.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Popovic discussed Broxham, the game and the form of Marco Rojas.

on his feelings…
“A mixture of all different emotions because frustration at not converting opportunities, but happy we’re creating opportunities, happy with the character shown to come from a goal behind, it’s a team that does very well when they’re in front, that’s proven. We’ve shown a lot of improvements in that area and lot of shots, lot of attempts against a very good team. The last two teams we’ve played … their preparation has been better than ours, we looked a little bit heavy legged, but I think second half we played a good match and their keeper had a great game.”

on positives…
“I think there were a lot of positives, there were a lot of positives. We should’ve scored just before half-time, right on half-time, and then we conceded a minute after half-time so there’s a big shift in the dynamic of the game so we had to forget that quickly and maybe it shows how far the team has come, or the Club. We kept our structure, we kept disciplined, we kept going forward and the belief was there. They’re always dangerous on the break, of course, when they’re leading that’s a real strength of theirs, but we scored, could’ve had more. In the end, we take the point.”

on Rojas…
“I thought second half he really stood up. First half was a difficult match, there wasn’t much happening in the game, but I think that’s expected in a tight game and then it’s the moments. We had our moment just before half-time, a clear opening, they took theirs off a corner and then you have to show the character required and Marco helped us really be on the front foot and that’s his first 90 minutes since I’ve been here so it shows, it’s been a slow process, but he had a good game against Melbourne City, I thought second half he really stood up today and we want more of this. We want Marco Rojas to deliver this week in, week out and he’ll get a lot of confidence from that and he’s disappointed in the change rooms because he felt he should’ve scored a few goals today, but hopefully he can do that on Sunday for us.”

on Broxham…
“I’ve always watched him from afar and seen him play all the various positions on the field and always do a good job for Melbourne Victory and used to frustrate me a lot. Now I’ve got the opportunity to coach him, to coach the person first and foremost and a wonderful human being. He’s a credit to himself and his family and also credit to the football Club to have him here for so long and hopefully he’ll be here for a very long time in whatever capacity that is, but we need to keep him involved in the Club when that day comes that he stops. For now I’m happy with how he’s playing, he’s certainly contributing and I’m sure he’ll play a big part for the rest of the year with us.”