Victory up the Ante

Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Ante Covic praised his team for blocking out a torrid week of off-field tumult to produce their "best performance of the year" on Sunday.

Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Ante Covic praised his team for blocking out a torrid week of off-field tumult to produce their "best performance of the year" on Sunday.

The 10-man Victory overcame Gold Coast 3-2 at AAMI Park to catapult themselves to third place on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

While Covic admitted the unwanted headlines surrounding under-fire coach Mehmet Durakovic and star signing Harry Kewell had some impact on the Victory players, the in-form custodian said he and his teammates didn't allow themselves to be affected.

"It's in the papers every day, things are written and it's hard not to take notice of it," Covic said after recovery on Monday.

"You try and put it at the back of your mind, you try and not to make it affect you on the field, in the training sessions and I think we've done that quite well."

"We've been under the pump for quite a few weeks now so we knew what we had to do."

"Whatever's written in the papers or what's happening at board level shouldn't concern us, we can control what's on the field and we did that yesterday."

Covic insisted that Kewell hadn't been noticeably affected by the recent media scrutiny following his split from long-time manager Bernie Mandic and reported attempt to engage former Serie A champion Abel Balbo as his personal coach.

"Harry's been the same person that he has been since day one, he is a professional guy, he trains hard, he works hard, he does all the right things and everything that's written in the papers, you wouldn't see it on his face," Covic said.

"In terms of in the dressing room, there hasn't been any issues, no question marks (have) been brought up at all."

"What he does off the field is his personal thing but as long as he comes to the dressing room with the same attitude day in, day out it's not a problem and it hasn't affected us one bit."

As for Durakovic, Covic said he believed the rookie coach had done a good job up until now and that the players had to take some responsibility for the Victory's unimpressive start to the season.

The goalkeeper admitted that Melbourne's return of one win from their first seven matches occurred largely due to training sessions not being taken as seriously as they should have been.

But he revealed things had changed dramatically in the lead-up to Week 8.

"The last week at training there's been a real pick up in tempo and will (and) a lot of want," Covic said.

"I've really noticed in the last week that we've really (been) coming to training (and) done the work that we need to and we probably haven't done that in a few weeks."

"What you do on the training field comes out on the playing field, if you're going to take training lightly you're going to probably go on to that pitch and take it lightly."

"We need to focus on football 100 per cent, it's not just (about) the 90 minutes we play on the weekend."

Covic conceded that the Victory were probably flattered by being third on the table.

"In a way if you look at the first seven weeks, (we) probably didn't deserve to be in third," he said.

"But (the) competition is so tight, a couple of wins on the trot and you're flying."

"We just got to take yesterday's performance, look at the positives and roll from there."