'Every year I prove them wrong' - Victory star Berisha brushes off critics

Besart Berisha has taken a swipe at his detractors after hitting a hat-trick in Melbourne Victory's 5-2 win over Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park.

The 32-year-old attracted criticism in midweek for his frustrated response to being substituted in the AFC Champions League defeat of Kawasaki Frontale.

But he responded in perfect fashion on Sunday, passing 10 regular season goals for the seventh successive campaign.

"It's never easy for a player like me to come off when the game is not decided. It's nothing against Kevin or the club," Berisha told Fox Sports.

"I like to decide the game, I want to help decide the game, win the game.

"I'm very happy at the club. It's just me. It's the package you get with me.

"A lot of people criticise me every year. That's okay, I can take it. I'm a player who, when people criticise me, I just work harder.

Besart Berisha
Berisha now has 11 goals in his last eight against the Mariners.

"Some people say I'm getting older but somehow every year I prove them wrong.

"It's always a challenge every year to score goals and I always work hard for that."

Leroy George and teenager Christian Theoharous were also on target as Victory climbed to third, a position Berisha believes is just the beginning.

"Through the team is great momentum and a good feeling," he said.

"Now we are number three in the table, we are playing great and I think that's the perfect way to start the end of season [run-in] to the play-offs."