Coach Jeff Hopkins is confident Melbourne Victory can bounce back from fatigue and their loss to Perth Glory against Canberra United and kickstart their A-League Women finals push.
Melbourne Victory – Canberra United
- Victory face Canberra on Tuesday in the A-League Women.
- Melbourne will hope to bolster their finals series chances.
- They are currently fourth in the ladder, one point ahead of fifth placed Perth.
More A-League Women’s news can be found on The Women’s Game.
Fourth-placed Victory are just one point clear of Perth and two points behind third-place Adelaide United after losing 2-0 to the Glory on Saturday, three days after their gutsy 2-2 draw with Sydney FC.
Their gruelling schedule now involves facing Canberra away at Viking Park on Tuesday then Adelaide away on Saturday.
“Adelaide are becoming strong and obviously City beating Sydney on the weekend, it’s thrown the cat amongst the pigeons, (along with) the result with Perth and ourselves,” Hopkins told the Australian Associated Press.
“We’ve mentioned this in training, that it’s easy to come in and be happy and even get through these tough sets of games when you’re winning every week.
“But now it’s going to show the teams that have got real character and real resolve are the ones that can, after a defeat on the weekend, bounce back and come out and put in a really, really strong performance.
“I expect our team to do that for sure.”
Victory will be without Claudia Bunge (international duties), Alanna Murphy (ankle) and Amy Jackson (calf) but otherwise Hopkins believed the reigning champions were in good shape and spirits.
“Losing the game has kind of shaken them up a little bit and just got that resolve and that determination to not let it happen again,” he said.
“We understand that we’ve got to dig deep like we did in the second half of the Sydney game.
“The really pleasing thing is that we showed that even in a game where we’re pretty tired that we could find another level.
“We just need to find that again and again, not wait for someone to spark us but be the person that actually sparks the rest of the team.”
Canberra finally broke through for their first win of the season with a 5-0 thumping of Western Sydney last Tuesday and have enjoyed a seven-day break.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for for that team, especially their ability to score goals,” Hopkins said.
“Any team with Michelle (Heyman) and ‘Sykesy’ (Ashleigh Sykes) is going to be a pretty formidable team in terms of their attacking prowess and obviously we know the quality of Grace Maher as well, after having her with us for a couple of seasons.
“It’s a game that we’re definitely not taking for granted.”
The full A-League Women’s schedule can be found using this link.