Post-Match Reaction | Tony Popovic

Head Coach Tony Popovic spoke to the media after Victory’s Semi-Final first leg draw with Wellington Phoenix.

On what he learned about Wellington going into the second leg…

“Well we know it’ll be a similar tough game again.”

“It’s a semi-final, so you don’t expect it to be easy.”

“They defend very well, we also defended very well today.”

“Although you’re always a little bit nervous because they have a lot of strength going forward on the break.”

“We’ve got to bring that resolute defensive display once more and just add a bit more spark in the front third.”

On the team selection…

“We have a squad of players and that was the team that we felt could build a good foundation, which they did.”

“We wanted some fresh energy.”

“I thought Roly (Bonevacia) had a wonderful game for someone that hasn’t started at all, had very limited minutes.”

“I thought Nish (Nishan Velupillay) and Salim (Khelifi) did a very good job for us early in the game.”

On limiting Wellington’s chances in transition…

“I thought we did a very good job at that.”

“Restricting them to not have a lot of time and space on the ball.”

“It takes a lot physically to do that. But we’re able (to), which is most important.”

“We didn’t do that well in the last game we played in Wellington. That game was very open and we got caught a few times in transition.”

“We tidied that up tonight.”

On managing two-legged affairs…

“It is different.”

“I thought we handled that very well as a group. We’ve still got work to do in the second leg.”

“The turnaround is quick, you’re facing the same players, we’ve faced them so many times this year.”

“It will go down to just details. I strongly believe that we will be ready for that challenge.”

On the approach to next week’s game…

“We should embrace the hostility.”

“Enjoy every moment on the park.”

“Trust ourselves and know that we’re good enough to go through.”