Ola Toivonen has put the frustrations of a delayed debut behind him, producing a month of football to confirm why Kevin Muscat so keenly sought his signature.
The Swede has been in wonderful form since coming off the bench against Central Coast Mariners in Round 4, and is credited with either a goal or assist in each of his four appearances for his new club.
Toivonen again made for easy viewing on Saturday night, producing the header that drew a save leading to Kosta Barbarouses’ opener, before sealing all three points with a smart finish of his own late on.
But aside from his form in front of goal it’s his work in bringing teammates into the match and providing the platform to attack that continues to draw plaudits.
“It’s always good [to be recognised],” Toivonen said post-match.
“[But] Keisuke is important for us, as well as Kosta and me. ‘Tezza’ [Terry Antonis] was in form before everyone else got going.
“It was good, a solid performance I think.
“A tough first half, but we tired them out and kept patient in the second half. A good performance all round.”
In addition to his goal, Toivonen produced a potentially more meaningful milestone in the context of the season, seeing out his first full 90 minutes since joining the Club.
“[It is pleasing] for sure, for some period your legs are heavy, but thats normal in a game.
“I’ve been working hard with Anthony [Crea] in the physical aspect… I did a lot of gym and calf raises, but it’s good.”
Toivonen formed part of the re-shuffle to Kevin Muscat’s defensive structures following the early ankle injury to Georg Niedermeier, taking the German’s place at defensive set-pieces, while Leigh Broxham moved from the left of midfield to the heart of defence.
“We can see the depth we have in the team at the moment.
“We have a lot of injuries, then one more happens [with Georg], but Leigh gets in and makes 100% effort and doesn’t make any mistakes in the whole game, so perfect.”
Having secured a fifth win in succession and with the relationship between Toivonen and his teammates growing with each passing week, Melbourne Victory’s number 11 is pleased with the state of play.
“It’s natural, the more games we play [together] the more you get to know each other.
“It’s good for the moment. We’re playing good…”
Toivonen will look to continue his wonderful start to life in navy blue next Friday night, when Melbourne Victory visit Brisbane Roar.