Rojas: Victory desperate to end season on a high
Their finals hopes were over some time ago but Marco Rojas is adamant Melbourne Victory’s last match of the Hyundai A-League regular season is far from a dead rubber.
Victory’s tumultuous 2019/20 campaign comes to a close on Wednesday night when they take on Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium.
It’s a clash that has no bearing on the make-up of the top six, with the Wanderers seeing their finals hopes dashed with last week’s 5-3 loss to Western United FC.
But Rojas denied there was little at stake for Victory, who are desperate to build on Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing of Perth Glory.
“I don't necessarily think it is a dead rubber match – yes in regards to the league – but we are going to go out there and fight again for 90 minutes,” said Rojas on Victory’s website.
“We have been working pretty hard towards one goal and that is to create an identity for our team again,” added Rojas, who scored a brace in the rout of Perth.
“It was very pleasing for all of us because we have worked hard behind the scenes to get to that point and it was nice to put it all together out on the pitch.”
The Wanderers clash will bring an end to interim boss Grant Brebner’s five-game tenure as caretaker, which has yielded one win and three defeats.
But the period since Brebner has taken charge has seen an emergence of youth in the Victory squad, after the departure of a host of key players and Robbie Kruse’s season-ending injury.
And Rojas, who has scored four of Victory’s eight goals since the competition resumption, has adopted more of a leadership role in the squad since the restart.
“It is nice to see the younger players doing well and feeling comfortable on the pitch among us,” said Rojas.
“We can only help with our words, experiences and we can lead from the front.
“We came here [to Sydney] with a different mindset and with a lot of young guys and players who needed to step into a new role – like myself.
“It has been a big learning curve for everyone and it has been a good camp to begin the process of looking forward to next season."
- Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
When: Wednesday, 12 August
Where: Bankwest Stadium
Kick-off: 8.10pm (AEST)