Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou remained in positive spirits after his side’s 2-1 loss to Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Friday.
The Victory suffered their third loss in four matches, with Emile Heskey inspiring the Jets to their third win of the campaign, but Postecoglou was reluctant to criticise his troops after the defeat.
“I just think we have improved collectively it’s not about individuals,” Postecoglou said.
“I must say I thought Adama Traore was outstanding tonight. I reckon he could be the next left back of the Socceroos if he keeps going like that. I thought he was brilliant.”
Emphasising the development of the team in his brief tenure, the 47 year-old said: “The most important thing is trying to get better every week and playing our style of football.
“Tonight was the best all-round performance we have had so far.
“I thought it was a step forward for us. It was the best we have played and I was really happy with the performance.
“We played some good football and we defended pretty well most of the time – just probably decision making (cost us).
“We should have been more ruthless in that front third and in our sport there is as a fine line between winning and losing and when you don’t take the opportunities you fall on the wrong side of that line.
“Our first two games were pretty ordinary, last week (a win against Adelaide) was better but we didn’t really dominate the game like we did today.
“Newcastle is a tough place to come and do that. For an away game for us, to create so many opportunities shows that for the most part we were pretty good.”
Postecoglou was philosophical about the reaction of Victory fans after his team’s loss.
“It’s probably more frustrating for our supporters,” he said.
“For me we are trying to build something at this club that will give us some success – all you can do is look at the progress you are making.
“I can’t walk away tonight without thinking we have made a step forward.
“Over time if we keep doing the right things we will get the rewards.”