Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri says all focus must now be on the crucial clash in Perth this Saturday night after the Big V ran into a red-hot Phoenix on Tuesday night, losing 3-0 to the Kiwi outfit.
Victory are still clearly in second spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder but blew a huge chance to put some real pressure on top-placed Sydney FC after the loss.
The Sky Blues remain five points clear of Victory on 32 points, with both sides now having played 15 games now after Tuesday night’s catch up Round 7 clash at Westpac.
Valeri conceded Phoenix battled and won just about every second ball all night.
“In the first five minutes Phoenix started better than us, and it kind of set the tone for the game,” Valeri told Fox Sports after the game.
Phoenix got right on top of the contest and striker Kosta Barbarouses easily found his way into the Victory box and should’ve opened the scoring had it not been for Lawrence Thomas tipping his effort away in the opening minute.
“It’s a little slip up along the way," Valeri said of the loss.
But in a week where they play three games, the skipper believed there was no time for navel gazing.
“The good thing about this week is we don’t have time to dwell on it.
"We have a tough game on Saturday [against Perth] which gives us a chance to redeem ourselves,” added Valeri.
Victory fly home today from Wellington and 48 hours later get on a flight to Perth, where will be without the suspended defender Jason Geria and striker Fahid Ben Khalfallah for Saturday night’s crucial clash at nib Stadium.
“But we’ve always had good depth,” argued Valeri.
“And there are those on the bench and at home who are ready to step in so it’s only up to us now."