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Mar 27, 2022   |  10:37PM AET

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic again felt his side should have beaten the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Despite being down to 10 men after Roderick Miranda’s red card, Victory went ahead through Jason Davidson in the 91st minute at AAMI Park on Sunday.

But Steven Ugarkovic converted a 96th-minute penalty for the Wanderers, the spot-kick seemingly awarded despite there appearing to be an offside in the lead up.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Popovic discussed the game and Matt Acton’s start.

on the late drama…
“The conclusions are one part, but if you look at the entire game, we should’ve won the game. The last 10 minutes is a crazy 10 minutes, but it’s a game we should’ve won.”

on the chances and Wanderers’ equaliser…
“We’ve got to take our chances. Their goalkeeper made some great saves, but I think it’s been a bit of a story for the last four games anyway where we’ve improved our play, that’s clear, we’ve improved our attacking play which is great, so we’re happy with that and we’re creating numerous opportunities, unfortunately we’re not putting teams away and then something happens at the end there where we should clear that situation, but the lead up to it as well, Tomi Mrcela is offside and that’s the problem we’ve got because we’ve got VAR, we don’t check for the offside. He’s offside and challenges the ball and we’re talking about the penalty and this is the problem. I’d rather not have VAR, but if we’re going to use it, let’s use it properly. We use it to send a player off, fine, we use it to check a handball, but we don’t use it to check an offside. Tomi Mrcela is offside on the cross and we lose the game. If we want to talk about details then they’ve got to get their part right as well.”

on form…
“I think we can only go by that, by what we see. We’ve had four games in 13, 14 days if you count the Japan trip so it’s been a difficult period and if you look at how the team has performed in that period, it’s been amazing, so I can’t be more proud of them. We’re all disappointed because that’s a result we should’ve got, but our football is good. We’re not giving teams many chances, clear again tonight, it was clear against Western United, Melbourne City, we’re not converting the chances to maybe change the dynamic of the game at the right time, but we’re pleased with our progress of our football so we’ve got to keep believing and we’ve got to get better, we’ve got to get better and hopefully we can start putting some teams away before we don’t get the rub of the green with a decision.”

on Acton…
“I think it’s like a lot of the games, not much to do. He didn’t have much to do, but what he did he did well and he looked confident so happy for Matt. I think Ivan (Kelava’s) maybe lost a bit of confidence, I wouldn’t say that we shouldn’t have won any of the recent games because of Ivan, clearly we should’ve won the matches, but it’s like an outfield player, unfortunately the goalkeeper they don’t usually change often, but an outfield player when he looks a bit fatigued or tired, you put him on the bench or you take him off. With a goalkeeper it’s a very unique position and I think this will freshen him up and I’m sure when he gets back in he’ll be fine.”

on the Women’s team’s Championship win…
“Wonderful. Fantastic for Jeff (Hopkins, Head Coach), I sent him a message straight after the game, I don’t know if he’s still celebrating or if he’s seen it or not. Wonderful for the girls, for Jeff, his staff, the entire Club. It’s back-to-back Championships. I’ve been fortunate to be around Jeff closely in the office and the girls are a credit to themselves and the football Club, we see them in the gym regularly, they work extremely hard, they’re very passionate for their sport so wonderful success for the team, Jeff as coach, the staff, the football Club, we had our Managing Director (Caroline Carnegie) there today so we’re all delighted.”