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Mar 20, 2023   |  3:34PM AET

“The leaders really stepped up”: Popovic reacts to Mariners win

“The leaders really stepped up”: Popovic reacts to Mariners win

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic was buoyed by his side’s application and mentality during Sunday’s 2-0 home win over the Central Coast Mariners.

On the performance against a confident Mariners team:

“We thought we were playing we were playing well and competing well against a good team.”

“We’ve played a good side that’s full of confidence and doing very well and and credit to Central Coast.”

“I thought it was a good day today, that we executed better and that gave us a better opportunity to win which ultimately we did do, and deserved.”

On his side’s defensive performance:

“Very happy with that, I thought throughout the whole game the structure was very good.”

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a clean sheet. And you know, if you want to compete with the best teams, you’ve got to be able to do that regularly.”

“It was a real good team effort, defensively, and then we had to really dig deep at the end there with 10 men and I’m very happy that they held out.”

On Fernando Romero’s performance and first goal:

“Firstly, very good goal. A fantastic goal, great movement, and that’s what the young kid’s got.”

“In terms of (the red card), he ran back to cover for the team. He made a great tackle. It’s just that the foot follow through. Definitely no intent.”

On Jason Geria’s substitution:

“He’s he’s had an ongoing hip and groin complaint throughout the whole year and it’s something that he’s trying to manage. He is managing.”

“I don’t think people see how hard it is for him in the background.”

“But you know, he’s doing a few more days of training now. So you can see that that’s helping him but I think it’s more there’s more precaution and he seems happy when I saw him now, that you know, he hasn’t aggravated it further.”

On having next week off, and the return:

“Yeah, we’ve got three games in seven days when we when we resume.”

“Yeah, the week off I guess, it’s there and it’ll come in handy more, probably emotionally and mentally for the players. You know, they’ve put a lot into this game and they know the situation and the circumstances that we’re in.”

“I thought the application and the mentality was just, you know, not of a team that’s down the bottom. So credit to every player involved in credit to the entire staff.”