Traffic fails to halt Victory progress
They may have had a disrupted preparation but that only made Melbourne Victory’s Derby triumph over Melbourne City all that much sweeter.
Victory’s 2-0 win at AAMI Park on Friday night was a clam, composed performance but the lead-up to the game was anything but.
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Squad members Laura Alleway and Kyra Cooney-Cross were both late in getting to the ground for the Westfield W-League Round 3 opener with Alleway a last-minute addition to the starting line-up.
The reason? Traffic.
Despite the unlucky circumstances Victory coach Jeff Hopkins was thrilled with his side’s mental fortitude.
"We had probably the worst preparation we've had all season with the traffic," Hopkins said.
"Most of the girls were late and Laura obviously didn't get here, she had a five- or six-minute warm-up.
"It's kind of where the girls are at the moment with their spirit. They didn't let anything like that affect them. They went out really positive right from the start.
"Although we had an affected preparation, they put in a really top-quality performance."
Victory winger Emily Gielnik was best on ground with a goal and a host of other chances as she terrorised the City defence.
Despite Victory only having 34% possession they managed to create the more meaningful chances, outshooting City 12 to 11.
The result, which keeps Victory unbeaten, pleased Hopkins but the coach stressed the need for continuous improvement.
"We were very, very happy with the result, but there's still a lot of parts of our performance that we need to clear up,” he said.
"We're definitely heading in the right direction and most probably the thing that's really pleasing for me now is there seems to be a bit of belief in the team of how good we can be.