Melbourne Victory match-winner Rudy Gestede wanted to show his appreciation for under-pressure coach Grant Brebner after scoring his first A-League goal in the 2-0 triumph over Wellington Phoenix.
Star striker Gestede scored four minutes into first-half stoppage time before making a beeline for the home bench to celebrate with his embattled coach and the Victory substitutes.
The feel good factor continued at AAMI Park as, within four minutes of the restart, the towering front man delivered the goods once again – heading in a second Jake Brimmer corner – to double his, and Victory’s tally.
The Navy Blue's second win from their seven games this season propels them off the bottom of the ladder and, after lifting the dark cloud that was hanging over the four-time champions, Gestede explained why he raced straight towards Brebner.
"He brought me into his club. It was important for us to be grateful," the 32-year-old goalscorer said.
"We all are involved from the subs, the players, the full club is involved in this victory and we are going to make sure in the next game we keep fighting together."
Gestede added: "Unfortunately I have been in this position with Aston Villa and with Middlesbrough. We have to stick together.
"The only thing that is going to make us get through it is to play as a team, and have togetherness.
"We showed everyone we are going to keep fighting and obviously we have got the quality to win games."
Callum McManaman was another player providing the service to Gestede, and the English winger echoed the target man’s sentiments about the unity within the Victory squad.
"It’s massive, a massive win. I think we needed it," said McManaman.
"You can tell by the celebrations how much it meant to the lads and Brebs especially.
"It’s been tough for everyone but we’re sticking together, we’re getting all of our players fit and hopefully we can carry it on now."
Victory walked off the pitch to boos and jeers following their 1-0 reverse against the Newcastle Jets on Sunday and Brebner admits there has been a lot of soul-searching since that defeat.
"It’s been a tough week, not just for myself, but everybody connected with the club," the Scotsman said.
"I’d be lying if I said we didn’t feel it, and we spoke about it in depth yesterday and today and I think we used it a little bit more as motivation for tonight."
Next fixtures - Matchweek 10
Melbourne Victory v Western United
Saturday, 27 February 2021
Venue: Marvel Stadium
Kick-off: 7.10pm AEDT
Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
Sunday, 28 February 2021
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 6.10pm AEDT