The Hyundai A-League’s Summer of Heroes is far from over, with Melbourne Victory set to play it’s third game in just six days on Tuesday night.
Second-placed Victory kept the pressure on league-leading Perth Glory on Saturday night, beating Newcastle by virtue of a late James Troisi stunner, and Club captain Carl Valeri praised the character of his squad to rebound from mid-week disappointment.
“It was a fantastic win on Saturday night against Newcastle,” Valeri said from Melbourne Airport.
“I think we showed a lot of character, especially coming back so soon after a midweek game and especially after the loss to Adelaide.
“[We showed] the character of Melbourne Victory. Our fans and the support we have, I think we all stood up together and I was very proud.”
Valeri and his teammates made the trip north on Monday afternoon, their fifth road-trip in seven matches, knowing another tight turnaround was no excuse.
“It’s something we’ve prepared for all season… Anthony Crea [Head of High Performance] has worked very hard on the program.
“I think we’re showing the depth of our squad at the moment. We’re able to get results and good performances with a lot of players rotating and playing different positions.
“I think that shows the mentality we have at the Club: we’re all ready to fight for each other.”
The ninth-placed Roar won’t be underestimated ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, with Valeri expecting another challenging contest.
“Brisbane is always a tough game.
“I know people say they’ve been struggling, but it’s always been a tough game for us and we need to be switched on.
“The main focus will be on ourselves… I think if we stick together, work hard and do the simple things well we’ll get the performance that we’re looking for.”
With places at the top of the Hyundai A-League table nip and tuck Valeri admits to keeping half an eye on the goings on around his side, knowing come the end of the season there could be little between all and nothing.
“As players, we’re fans as well, we look at the table and other teams because of our love of football.
“As a professional it doesn’t affect us because we know that we control what we’re doing – we can’t control what anyone else is doing.
“It’s exciting to see the top of the table so close together… you’d expect two or three teams to be breaking away but there’s four or five of us together.”
Melbourne Victory faces Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday 15 January. Kick-off is at 7:50pm.