Melbourne Victory are desperate to avoid the “hangover” of a rare A-League win when they host Western United in Saturday night’s derby at Marvel Stadium.
The Victory snapped a three-game losing streak with a Rudy Gestede-inspired 2-0 midweek win over fellow strugglers Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park.
“We don’t want to just get up for that game then have a hangover after it,” Victory coach Grant Brebner said.
“We don’t want to make it just that one game. We need to carry us forward, we need it to be over a number of games and starting to get in that mix for challenging up the top of the league.
“We want to keep than momentum going so it’s important that we continue that vein of form and come up with three points again.”
It’s a task easier said than done against a United side set to provide Victory with a much tougher test than what was dished up by the disappointing Phoenix.
“We’re going to come up against a really experienced front three at Western United so we’ll come up with a formula that will best help us and hopefully stifle them,” Brebner said.
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) February 26, 2021
It’s a trio of attacking weapons that includes former Victory star Besart Berisha, the best striker in A-League history.
Berisha scored a brace in United’s 4-1 thrashing of a poor Macarthur FC in Bendigo last Saturday.
The double took Berisha’s goal tally to 138 in 219 A-League appearances.
His two-goal effort was matched by former Premier League marksman Gestede in the Victory’s win over the Phoenix.
“It was important to show where I came from,” Gestede said.
“The manager brought me to this club to score goals and to do my job up front.
“I’m happy to help the team and score goals because I’m there for that, but the result at the end was brilliant.
“We kept a clean sheet which is very important for our confidence.”
The Victory seem certain to lose New Zealand international Marco Rojas to injury, much to the frustration of Brebner, who is desperate to have attacking quartet Gestede, Rojas, Callum McManaman and Robbie Kruse play together as much as possible.
“Every minute they get on the park together is a bonus. (Against the Phoenix) was the first time we’ve been able to field the front four (together), albeit again, we lose Marco to another tackle,” Brebner said.
“Getting them on the pitch is huge to us. We know how important those front four are to us and yes, they can win us games.”