Postecoglou turns attention to finals
It was a case of job done and move on for Melbourne Victory after their 3-2 win against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.
The win secured Victory third place and an elimination final against Perth Glory on Friday.
With a short turnaround heading into the A-League finals series coach Ange Postecoglou was happy to see his team bounce back from last week's disappointment against Perth and come through the match at Westpac Stadium with no injuries.
"We won the game. We were pretty keen on sticking in third spot because I think where you finish on the ladder is still important in terms of your season," Postecoglou said.
"We lost last week and if we'd gone in (to the finals series) with a couple of defeats it wouldn't have been great for us. So it was great to get the result."
Victory led 2-0 with around 25 minutes to play after goals to Marco Rojas and Marcos Flores.
But they saw that lead wiped out by quick-fire goals from Stein Huysegems and Jeremy Brockie and it took an 84th-minute strike from Archie Thompson to seal the win.
"The performance was okay, nothing flash," Postecoglou said. "To Wellington's credit they had nothing to play for and were quite adventurous and caused us a few problems.
"In the end we got the win and came through unscathed so from that point of view it's a positive thing."
Postecoglou handed teenager Jason Geria his first start in defence, opted to rest Billy Celeski until the 72nd minute when he replaced Flores, and gave returning Socceroos Mark Milligan and Archie Thompson the full 90 minutes with one eye on Friday's elimination final in Melbourne.
"Mark Milligan and Archie Thompson were away for a good 10 days and didn't really play much so it was good for them to get some minutes under their belt," said the coach.
"Flores got another hour or so because he's been out for a while.
"The primary thing was to get through unscathed and hopefully get three points. We did both of those.
"We get back to Melbourne tomorrow and start looking forward to a big game on Friday."
Postecoglou certainly expects a different level of football at Etihad Stadium.
"There's a lot more edge to (finals football). There's a lot more pressure to every situation. The tempo is usually higher and the intensity is definitely higher ... particularly if you're playing knock-out football," he said.
"For us, we're going to be in that scenario for the next three weeks. Every 90 minutes could potentially be our last.
"There is a little bit of a different mindset going into finals. But we've been preparing for that for a while as well. I think the style of football we're trying to play will hopefully be successful in a finals type scenario."