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Apr 16, 2022   |  10:43PM AET

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic lauded his players after a 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.

Francesco Margiotta headed in a 93rd-minute winner at McDonald Jones Stadium in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Nick D’Agostino’s opener had been cancelled out by Savvas Siatravanis, but Margiotta scored the winner as Victory broke a Club record by extending its unbeaten league run to 11 games.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Popovic discussed the win and the busy run of fixtures his team has gone through to begin April.

on the late winner…
“They’re always special those ones. We’ve had a few games this year where we’ve dropped some points right at the death so we know what it feels like for Newcastle tonight, but we’re delighted obviously, away from home, scoring so late and getting three points.”

on form in busy period…
“The boys have been incredible. I can’t fault anything from them in terms of physically, mentally, even technically what they produce, in 14 days it’s been tough, picked up four wins and a draw, so it’ll be a nice few days now, the players will get to enjoy Easter, and the staff as well, and then we’ve got a six-day break, which is a nice change for us, and then we’ve got another tough game against Macarthur.”

on whether team is at peak…
“I believe we have to be satisfied, 11 games unbeaten, I think this run, as I just mentioned, is a fantastic run – five games, 14 days, with all the travel and the big games we’ve had, with the return of points that we’ve got is great. But I believe there’s more. There’s definitely more to improve, it’s still a new team. What we’re showing is we have a wonderful mentality. When we’re not at our best, we can get a result and when we play very well, we can win. We showed today great character because when Newcastle equalised, the momentum, the fans, it was a tough period, we got through that initial period after their goal, we then started creating opportunities in the last 10 minutes. It was a fantastic goal, started from our centre-back, to young ‘Brooksy’ (Lleyton Brooks) who came on and made a great impact and then Margiotta’s header, wonderful, you’d be happy seeing that in any league in the world that type of header.”

on Margiotta…
“We’re very happy for him. It hasn’t been easy for him. Settling in is not easy for foreigners. Some settle in very quickly, some take more time, but there’s no doubt about his quality and his talent. That’s never been disputed by me or anyone at the Club. He’s had a good run now, he set up a great goal in Adelaide, he scored in Perth, got us the winner there, and today a fantastic header and he could’ve had a couple before that – the right-foot shot, he had one cleared off the line from another header off a corner. So you’re right, I hope that builds even more confidence, but he knows how we feel about him and that we appreciate his quality and talent and if we can help him get more goals that will help him and obviously the Club.”