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Premiership still in Victory sights, says Postecoglou

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou insisted they can still win the Premier’s Plate despite a 2-1 loss to Western Sydney on Saturday.

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou insisted they can still win the Premier’s Plate despite a 2-1 loss to Western Sydney on Saturday.

Goals from Iacopo La Rocca and Shinji Ono at AAMI Park consigned third-place Victory to their second successive defeat, leaving them five points behind Wanderers, and six back from league leaders the Central Coast Mariners.

That margin could be difficult to make up, but with six matches of the regular campaign remaining, Postecoglou insisted his team are still capable of challenging for top spot.

When asked if the defeat meant an end to Victory’s premiership aspirations, he replied: “That’s a ridiculous question. Is there something in the rules that says we can’t win it from here? Is there enough points?

“If you don’t, then I do. What do you expect me to say? ‘No, we’re going to finish third?’

“We’re a football club that tries to win every game we play. If we win six in a row and the others drop six in a row we’ll end up first. Until it’s mathematically impossible, why wouldn’t you try to be the best you can be?”

Wanderers have made a mockery of those observers who tipped them to struggle in their debut season, earning a sixth consecutive win on Saturday.

But if Postecoglou was impressed by the in-form visitors, he was giving little away when quizzed on Western Sydney’s credentials.

“They were OK,” he said.

“It was a tight game, they won. We were OK, but we didn’t win. When the opposition win you’ve got to take your medicine and move on.”

Victory were missing key men Archie Thompson and Adama Traore through injury and suspension respectively.

The loss of forward Thompson was particularly noticeable, as Victory struggled to break down the stubborn Wanderers.

Nevertheless, Postecoglou refused to discuss how much of an impact the absentees had on his team’s efforts.

“Way too hypothetical for me,” he said.

“With the team we had out there tonight, we had our moments and I still believe we could have won that game of football.

“When you lose, there’s nothing positive about it. From our point of view it’s about dusting ourselves off and making sure we get a positive result next week. There’s no point looking for positives in defeat. That’s not the football club we’re at.

“If you start with the result and analyse it backwards, everything you say is true. But that’s not what we analyse. We analyse how we play. If you’re telling me that they were miles better than us tonight… I thought it was a pretty tight game.”
Sat 16 February, 2013
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