Valeri clears Victory for lift-off after 'great' Grand Final rematch

Carl Valeri believes Melbourne Victory's season is ready to take full flight following their 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets in Round 3. 

Victory’s triumph in the Grand Final rematch came at just the right time following defeats to Melbourne City and Perth Glory in their opening two matches. 

Now, according to Valeri, it is a matter of using that result to catapult their campaign to the next level. 

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“We pushed ourselves during the week, and we had the right performance and we got the result,” Valeri said.

“We’d been having good performances lately but not the result, and so it’s really great to get our season off the ground and running with the three points. 

“To do it in that manner, against a tough team, it’s always tough to play Newcastle, it was a great win.

“To get the three points is extremely important because it gives you that belief to build.

“Our performances were good, I believe, in the last two games, but the result wasn’t there.

“So it was extremely important for our morale, for us mentally - that’s our starting block now, so we’re going to build on that and take it into the game against Central Coast [Mariners].”

Valeri also praised the partnership Terry Antonis appears to have struck up with international marquee Keisuke Honda.

Honda Brown Antonis
Keisuke Honda and Terry Antonis have formed a lethal partnership this 2018/19 Season.

Both of the 24-year-old’s sizzling goals this season have been assisted by the Japanese star. 

“They’re both fantastic players, I love playing with them and I love watching them play,” Valeri said.

“I think we’ve got a lot of quality in our team, so I’m not bothered who’s scoring, just as long as someone’s scoring.

“I’m really happy for Terry, I think he’s one of the best midfielders in the league. It’s a great partnership, I’m very proud to have them in my team.“

Victory next host Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park on Sunday as they seek to build momentum.

The Mariners sit below Victory on two points, having drawn with Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City before succumbing to a 3-0 loss against Adelaide United. 

“It’s a different challenge because we’re going to build on what we’ve done against Newcastle,” the skipper said. 

“I think it’s important that we build on it, we can’t take a step backwards, we need to use that as our base and move forward from that.

“[Central Coast] play a different style of football to Newcastle, but we still need that desperation, that aggression, so the main focus will be on us.

“Hopefully we can come up with different solutions other than Keisuke to Terry.

“I know the boys will be up for it, I can feel the morale in the morning after the game, it was an important win and we’ll take those good spirits into training.”

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