Marco Rojas and Leigh Broxham might be on opposite ends of the excitement scale, but they've earned equal praise from coach Ange Postecoglou.
Marco Rojas and Leigh Broxham might be on opposite ends of the excitement scale, but they've earned equal praise from coach Ange Postecoglou after Melbourne Victory's 3-2 win over Newcastle Jets on Friday.
Rojas grabbed the headlines after scoring a double either side of an Archie Thompson goal, for which he provided the assist.
Rojas' sensational second - a volley after a stylish pirouette - ensured the points remained with the hosts at AAMI Park, after goals from Ruben Zadkovich and Emile Heskey had momentarily pulled the Jets level.
Broxham, meanwhile, was thrust into central defence in place of suspended captain Adrian Leijer.
Despite standing at just 169cm, the converted midfielder performed admirably and added vital experience next to teenager Nick Ansell.
Speaking about Rojas after the match, Postecoglou was evasive when asked what the difference was between the player that tore the Jets to shreds on Friday and the one who struggled to impress last season.
"A lot of it's down to him. He worked fairly hard in the pre-season. He's a talented player, we've all seen that," he told reporters.
"It's hard for me to comment on last year. People ask me about that, but I wasn-t here and you don't know the circumstances.
"Maybe for young players you need to go through that tougher period to make them stronger.
"But since I've been here, he's been fantastic in terms of his work ethic.
"… He wants to learn and he's still got improvement in him, I think. He can still get better, and the beauty of it is he'll rock up to training looking to do that."
Unlike Rojas, Broxham has found a starting spot hard to claim under Postecoglou, but his coach refused to label him merely a squad player.
"He was great. That was obviously our problem position this week, but to Leigh's credit, I told him, he was, 'Yup, no problem' and jumped straight into it.
"We could have played with one of our younger centre-halves, but with Nick Ansell as an 18-year-old, I thought we needed some experience there.
"… I put the question to him, and he did fantastically well, which I knew he would."
Postecoglou admitted he would have liked a more comfortable result, with his side having appeared to be cruising at 2-0. But he was not overly critical of his men, labelling the Jets a tricky opponent to conquer.
"I was just saying to someone, every club wants to make their home ground a fortress. Ours has become an amusement park - just thrills every week," he said.
"People are getting their money's worth.
"(But) it's on the right side of the ledger … there's plenty to be positive about."