Will the slump ever end for Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory? That’s what the boss wanted to know as they traveled to Bluetongue Stadium to take on the Central Coast Mariners.
“I don’t think it was a case of Archie missing last week,” Postecoglou told Iain Strachan for melbournevictory.com.au. “We still had moments in our game [against Western Sydney] when we could have capitalised on our good play and we didn’t. So that’s what’s got to improve. It’s not about the individuals…not about Archie or anyone else missing, it’s about us executing out game style better than we did last week.
“The most important thing is we play well and win. It’s not my style going in to games worrying we’re going to lose. So all we’re focused on is trying to play well and win and we’ll have a look at it (the table) after that.”
There was talk of Marco Rojas being transferred to other clubs in the Premier League and Europe, but Adrian Leijer, the captain of the Victory, believes that such nonsense must be quashed ASAP.
“We had a bit of a laugh this morning, I think Red Bull Salzburg is one of them, so we said Kitzbichler might be back in the stadium … he’s coaching for them, and he used to play for us season one,” Leijer told Luke Sheehan for melbournevictory.com.au. “It’s all part of it, we did say to him ‘A few weeks ago it was Liverpool, Juventus, and now those clubs are a bit smaller than those’ so he has to start scoring some more goals.
“He deals with it well, he’s got a good head on his shoulders. I suppose we try to keep him grounded a little bit, if you’re playing well it’s a good problem to have. Obviously he’s doing well, he’s scoring goals and arguably he’s the best player in the competition. He’s going to get that attention, it’s a problem you’d rather have than not.”
It was a result that the Victory would want to forget: 6-2 at Bluetongue Stadium in one of their worst defensive performances of the season reminiscent of last year. Mitchell Duke scored a brace in the 18th and 32nd minutes and Michael McGlinchey scored a hat trick in the 57th, 87th and 90th minutes of play. Also scoring for the Mariners was Nick Fitzgerald in the 81st minute.
Mark Milligan equalized early for Melbourne in the 23rd minute and Central Coast’s Trent Sainsbury scored an own goal in the 68th minute of play.
The Victory continue their season on Mar. 3 at AAMI Park in Melbourne against the Newcastle Jets.