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Apr 25, 2022   |  5:10PM AET

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Post-match reaction: Popovic

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic was proud of his team after a 1-1 draw away to Brisbane Roar on Anzac Day.

Brendan Hamill cancelled out Alex Parsons’ opener in tough conditions at Moreton Daily Stadium in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Victory has claimed 17 of a possible 21 points during a busy April, while extending its unbeaten league run to a Club-record 13 games.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Popovic discussed the game, the short turnaround and Matt Spiranovic’s absence.

on the conditions…
“I think the conditions were tough, but I think the hardest part was the heavy pitch. I don’t think the weather was an issue. The pitch was extremely heavy, which was quite difficult for us considering we played Friday night so two and a half days between games, so when you assess all that and Brisbane having nine, 10 days between the games, I thought the players were excellent, to come back, we had a great chance after we equalised which I think changes the whole game. Very proud of the group, what they’re doing at the moment.”

on playing less than 72 hours after beating Macarthur…
“I think today was our toughest test, with the short turnaround and the real heavy conditions. Players found it difficult out there today, you could see that we didn’t have our usual sharpness, on and off the ball, but the players are growing in a mentality which showed as well today, 1-0, we were struggling physically and we came back and had the chance of the game to make it 2-1 and then at the end you can see we’re fatigued, we’re making some errors at the back in terms of our passing, a fantastic point under the circumstances so very happy with the group.”

on Premier’s Plate race…
“We’ve been going game by game and controlling what we can and if that opened the door to catch the top two, well then it opens that door, but we’re 13 undefeated, we’ve come away with four points away from home in two and a half days. I’m still baffled by the scheduling that we have to play today at 2 o’clock, but the players have shown how far they’ve come. We’ll recover, they’re a bit disappointed, but they shouldn’t be and I’m sure tomorrow, we get home tonight, we can recover at home in our own beds with family, and then tomorrow we’ll start preparing for Wellington, which is our last home game of the season so we want to finish on a high and recover well from these difficult two games.”

on scheduling…
“The problem is not if we’re playing today, we should be playing in the evening, we should have more time to recover, we haven’t had three days, 72 hours, to recover and it’s another away game and you put that on top of the heavy pitch, maybe last year and the year before we probably don’t get a result here. That shows how far, especially once you go down, in these conditions if you can score first it helps, credit to Brisbane they played with a lot of energy, lot of enthusiasm, they were aggressive, they were fresh and they scored first, which is always tough away from home considering how we’re feeling but we came back and we had the chance of the game to go in front and probably win the match. Put the result aside, extremely proud of the group, very proud.”

on Spiranovic…
“It was too soon for him. He wouldn’t have played this game regardless of the injury, it would’ve been too soon for him to play two games in two and a half days, but we’re confident that he’ll be available on Friday.”