‘It was probably our best so far’: Hopkins sees Victory clicking at the right time
Melbourne Victory boss Jeff Hopkins says his side were back to their creative best as they notched their biggest win of the season over Adelaide United on Saturday night.
Natasha Dowie scored a brace in between a second half strike from Rosie Sutton as Victory notched a 3-0 win over the Lady Reds, their first win of the season by more than a one-goal margin.
Hopkins was delighted with his team’s all-round effort after the game as the Victory drew level with Brisbane Roar in fourth place with a game in hand.
"I'd say good clear-cut chances it was probably our best [of the season] so far,” Hopkins told melbournevictory.com.au.
“Obviously it was good to see Tash [Dowie] on the end of a couple as well today and Rosie Sutton getting her first goal of the season," he said.
"She (Sutton) has been working really unselfishly over the last three or four weeks, she's set other players up, she's been really happy for others to jump in there and to score the goals and take the glory so it was good.
"I think everyone was really pleased for Rosie to get the goal today."
As Dowie and Sutton wrote the headlines Hopkins was quick to credit his sturdy defence as they kept their first clean sheet in three Westfield W-League games.
Hopkins was particularly delighted with the performance of returning Westfield Matildas ace Laura Brock, who slipped right back into his defensive line with ease after an extended injury layoff.
"Really pleased. She got 45 minutes under her belt last week against China in the friendly and did really well," Hopkins said.
"She came through the first half really well, played well, influenced the game for us, a real calming influence there.
“She's played 45 minutes in the last seven months so it's a big ask for her.
"She put in everything she could, she put her hand up after about 65 minutes and we took her off and we were ready to make the change, we knew what we were going to do and Angie Beard jumped back into the back three and we brought on Lia Privitelli and it was quite a smooth transition as well.”
The result condemned Adelaide to their seventh loss of the season in eight games; they sit bottom of the Westfield W-League table with just a point to their name.
Lady Reds boss Ivan Karlovic says his side didn’t help themselves from starting on the back foot against Victory and failing to capitalise on their attacking chances.
“I thought we started slowly and gave them too much respect early on in the game,” Karlovic told adelaideunited.com.au.
“We were sitting too deep and conceded a scrappy goal.
“And I thought from that point we started to play a little bit more in the first-half.
“We got the ball into good areas, but our quality and decision-making and execution at those times wasn’t good enough.
“Across the majority of the game that was the telling factor.”