Toivonen primed for Australia Day blockbuster


Melbourne Victory forward Ola Toivonen is just like any fan this week: he can’t wait for Saturday to come. 

The AAMI Park blockbuster pits the third-placed hosts against the second-placed Sky Blues, meaning the stakes could scarcely be higher. 

“Of course [we’re looking forward], because you know how much it means for the Club and the fans,” Toivonen said Thursday.

“You need to take responsibility as a player [and] respond well towards your club and the fans.”

The Swedish striker has been prolific in his brief time in the Hyundai A-League, contributing nine goals – a Club best – and three assists through just 12 appearances.

Earlier in the campaign Toivonen had urged caution to those expecting bags of goals, but was quick to point out his excellent form owes as much to his teammates good play as anything else. 

“[I didn’t expect to be] scoring that much to be honest.

“As I said, I’m not really a goal scorer, but it’s come quite easy at the moment. I’m not complaining!

“We have a good team and we’re on the roll. The team are creating chances for me, [but] I like to set-up my teammates who are in good positions as well, so it’s a good mix.”

Toivonen produced both a goal and an assist in the thrilling 3-3 draw against Wellington last weekend, and has said post-match Kevin Muscat was proud of the group’s efforts.

“[We were disappointed] for sure. But after the game he was really proud of us.

“It was a quick turnaround with Brisbane and wellington, and yeah we came back strong… we recovered good and turned it around to grab a point and the gaffer was proud of us.”

Further, a six-day break between engagements has the striker refreshed and raring to go.

“For sure, [it’s great] both physically and mentally. I’ve had some time with the family before school starts, which was nice, and we’ve recovered our bodies.

“It’s been a hectic schedule and we try to grab every point for the moment and we’re looking forward to the challenge on Saturday.