Tempers flare in A-League weekend action
Michael Lynch and Scott Spits review week eight of the A-League season, including the fiery encounter between Brisbane and Central Coast.PT0M0S 620 349
He's witnessed glimpses of the right football and now Ange Postecoglou has seen the character to convince him Melbourne Victory can be serious A-League title contenders.
The Victory continued a strong run of form with a gallant 2-0 win away to Western Sydney on Saturday night, despite playing with 10 men for 74 minutes.
The early send-off of young defender Sam Gallagher put the Victory on the back foot early but rather than go into their shell they continued to play the positive brand of football Postecoglou encourages.
Victory's Archie Thompson, Nathan Coe and Leigh Broxham celebrate with fans after beating the Wanderers 2-0. Photo: Getty Images
They were rewarded with a Michael Beauchamp own goal and an excellent finish from Archie Thompson to secure a third win in four games and continue their climb up the ladder.
Postecoglou revealed after the game he had called on his players to show a stronger mentality in recent weeks and they duly delivered at Parramatta Stadium.
And with a side possessing plenty of fire power in the likes Thompson, Marco Rojas and Marcos Flores, the coach says the signs are good.
"We've got some attacking weapons going forward but we've just not been as strong defensively as a unit as we should have been in the last few games," Postecoglou said.
"I think apart from the first two games we're starting to show a bit of consistency and (against the Wanderers) we answered a question about our character.
"I think we're strong mentally, which is a good sign.
"We spoke about ... If we're going to be contenders we need to show a little bit more character and resilience under difficult situations and I thought we were tremendous in that area."
Postecoglou said the performance showed the Victory would stay true to their philosophy, regardless of the situation.
"We want to be a team that tries to win every game, home and away," he said.
"Obviously it's difficult with 10 men, no doubt, but we think we've got players in our team that can hurt opposition if we keep playing football.
"We're always going to be a threat going forward and whether home or away, or even with 10 men, I think we'd send the wrong message if we were to curtail that in any way.
"We want to be that sort of team."
The win lifted the Victory above Western Sydney on the competition table but there were plenty of good signs for the A-League newcomers who continue to impress in their debut season.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic lamented the fact the Victory did what his side could not - take its chances.
"We came up against a very good side who had that one chance on the break and they punished us," Popovic said.
"There's heads down in the dressing room right now but come Monday we'll pick them up again."