Popovic urges Victory to keep fighting after narrow loss

Melbourne Victory 1-2 Western United AAMI Park 13 March 2023


Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic. Photo: supplied

Victory caretaker manager Tony Popovic says his side are making avoidable mistakes, following yesterday’s 2-1 loss to Western United.

“It’s not about effort or commitment from the group,” he said.

“The group gives their heart and soul, but we have to find a little bit more than that – if we keep conceding goals, it won’t matter how many we score, as it will always be hard to win the game.”

Western United manager John Aloisi described the game as a big win.

United forwards Noah Botic and Aleksandar Prijovic scored goals in each half, earning Aloisi’s praise.

“I feel that they have been exceptional, not only in the last few games but in training as well,” he said.

United defenders focused on winning the ball, he added, which allowed the side to defend aggressively and intimidate opponents.

But Aloisi said they remained calm even as Bruno Fornaroli scored from a penalty which allowed Victory to equalise briefly in the second half.

“It’s easy to say you have a good attitude when you are winning – it’s about not pointing fingers or having internal fights when you’re having a bad time, and we did that,” he said.

According to Popovic, it was a comparatively good first half for Melbourne Victory but things went downhill after Fornaroli’s penalty.

Victory are languishing at 9 points below the A-League Men’s top six, with six games remaining in the regular season.

Popovic said the key is to move forward.

“I think the performances have indeed been poor, but we have been going through a difficult period,” he said.

“We just have to keep fighting and go again.”