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Melbourne Victory chase derby recovery

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27th February, 2021
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Struggling Melbourne Victory face another A-League derby, this time against Melbourne City, after being flattened by a 4-3 loss to Western United.

Melbourne Victory coach Grant Brebner expects his heartbroken players to lift themselves off the canvas for another crunch next week.

Victoria’s biggest club is reeling after a turbulent week on and off the pitch, which culminated in a “gut-wrenching” 4-3 defeat to Western United, settled by Victor Sanchez’s 95th-minute strike.

It extended what Brebner conceded is a “hoodoo” against the expansion club, with Victory yet to win in five meetings with their newest rivals.

But Victory could not ask for a better opportunity to bounce back when they run into Melbourne City on Saturday night.

A big crowd is expected at Marvel Stadium with COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne easing.

“Trust me, I won’t need to get them up for it,” Brebner said in the aftermath of the loss.

“I could see – even just now in the changing room – there’s a lot of pain, there’s a lot of hurt.

“We will use this hurt as a tool to have a platform for this team to come together because they’re still an inexperienced team in terms of playing together.

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“There’s still a lot of young lads in there and there’s a lot that we’re still developing in, but I won’t need to use this as motivation.

“They will be up for it next week, I guarantee you.”

Marco Rojas could return from a calf injury to add more firepower against CIty and Brebner dismissed fears over the fitness of skipper Leigh Broxham.

Broxham appeared to hurt himself when stretching to intercept a cross with his head during the first half against Western and was taken off with more than 20 minutes left to play.

Young defender Dalibor Markovic was a shining light for Victory in his second senior appearance.

Markovic started the sweeping move that led to Callum McManaman’s opener and provided the cross for Rudy Gestede to equalise eight minutes from time before Sanchez netted the winner.

“He did really well,” Brebner said of Markovic.

“His energy levels were good and I think a couple of players around him could’ve given him a little bit more help.

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“But he can be really happy and I’m really happy with the way he’s performed over the last two games.”

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