Covic right at home

Ante Covic has been a Melbourne Victory player for less than a week, but already he's stamped himself as a fan favourite with a man-of-the-match performance on debut against Sydney FC.

Ante Covic has been a Melbourne Victory player for less than a week, but already he's stamped himself as a fan favourite with a man-of-the-match performance on debut against Sydney FC.

Signed as a last minute replacement when the club's No.1 keeper Tando Velaphi fractured a leg on the eve of the new Hyundai A-League season, Covic pulled off a string of sensational saves in Saturday night's scoreless draw at Etihad Stadium.

The veteran journeyman's heroics included a penalty save from Sydney's star recruit Brett Emerton in the 33rd minute.

"They brought me back for a reason and I did the job so I'm pleased about that," Covic said.

"I was out there doing my job and it came off really well for me so I'm pleased."

Covic, who's a client of Harry Kewell's manager Bernie Mandic, said he felt immediately at home when he decided to sign for Melbourne from Swedish outfit, Elfsborg.

He warned Velaphi, who was signed in the off-season from Perth Glory, that he's not about to give up his spot without a fight.

"There were ongoing discussions with Melbourne and a couple of options for me, then Tando got injured and it just felt like the right thing," Covic said.

"Obviously I'm not coming back here just as a stop gap - Tando, when he gets back, is going to have to fight for his position."

"It's a great set-up, a great club and the boys have been fantastic towards me."

"When I look at the whole scheme of things, it's a really positive move for me to come back home."

Covic, who arrived in Melbourne last Monday, said he still feels "woozy" from jet lag in the mornings but, thankfully, fires up towards the evening.

He said he watched Emerton closely as he shaped to take his penalty before deciding to dive left and low in what proved to be the pivotal moment in the match.

"I thought 'Emmo' was quite square to the ball and it just felt to me that his best option was to go straight across me," Covic said.

"There was probably a bit of pre-judgement from me ... but I got it right."