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Dec 23, 2023   |  11:13PM AET

Post-Match Reaction | Tony Popovic on Derby draw

Post-Match Reaction | Tony Popovic on Derby draw

From Head Coach Tony Popovic after Victory’s 0-0 draw against Melbourne City.

On the performance…

“Of course we wanted to win the game.”

“I thought second half we were much better than the first.”

“A little bit disappointing for us in how we played in the first half, albeit we defended very well as a team.”

“Maybe we got caught up a little bit in the game itself.”

“But I thought second half was much better.”

“Some good young players got opportunities as well on such a big occasion.”

“When we had the ascendancy in the second half I thought we needed to score.”

“But we were very resolute, we kept a clean sheet and we move forward to a big game against Adelaide.”

On the improvement in the second half…

“There were a few tactical areas that we worked on during the week that we didn’t do in the first half, in particular without the ball.”

“We pressed a lot better at the right moments in the second half, and we kept the ball well.”

“We had a lot more control in the second half.”

On the Derby intensity…

“It’s a Derby. We want the passion.”

“Of course you’ve got to be careful not to cross the line, but that’s what the referee is there for.”

“It’s what you expect in a game like that, and it should be that way.”

On whether Adama Traore will be available next week…

“No.”

“He came off with a concussion rule. That rules him out for the next game.”

“We’ve got to put the player’s health first.”

On Eli Adams…

“It’s probably the most minutes he’s had, in particular in a big game.”

“From [the] mistakes that he made today he’ll learn and he’ll grow.”

“But he’s a very exciting player.”

“Probably needed to back himself more a bit around the box when he got away a few times – that’ll come. He certainly has natural ability.”

On the approach to the Adelaide game…

“More of the same, but this time it’ll be our home crowd.”

“We’ve got great form at home and we want that to continue.”

“We know what the game is, like it was in Round 3. Intensity, tough, big rivalry.”

“We should build from that second half and take that into the next match.”

On Bruno Fornaroli’s Socceroos call-up…

“We’re all extremely proud.”

“Knowing him, he’ll be sitting there a bit disappointed he didn’t score tonight, which is good.”

“But he certainly played his part for the team.”

“We want him to score, finish on a high against Adelaide. If he can’t score, help contribute to us winning the match.”

“Then we’ll send him off, support him from afar.”

“Then he can come back and help us keep going in the direction that we want to.”