Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic likened the ambiance throughout his aspect’s 1-0 loss to Western United at AAMI Park to that of a match performed when Covid-19 restrictions prevented followers attending.
No Victory followers or members had been allowed within the floor on Monday evening as a part of the membership’s sanctions for the pitch invasion on the similar venue on December 17.
With United having solely a small supporter base, the official crowd determine was solely 2867, and that determine appeared barely inflated when contemplating the variety of empty seats within the stadium.
“It’s completely different,” Popovic mentioned.
“The gamers had been on the market. I wasn’t, nevertheless it felt like a few of these video games that you just performed with the Covid restrictions.
“It’s what it’s for us in the intervening time, and we will’t use that as an excuse for what occurred on the market.
“We’ve bought to look to be higher.”
Popovic mentioned the Victory would “take care of” any additional sanctions Soccer Australia doubtlessly slapped on them as investigations proceed into the disgraceful Melbourne derby incident.
“We’ll take care of no matter comes up, I’d wish to assume that what we’re seeing to this point is fairly heavy sanctions as it’s, (however) in the event that they assume we want extra, then we’ll need to take care of it,” he mentioned.
Popovic was left to lament his aspect’s failure to profit from its one-man benefit following the first-half dismissal of Western United defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
“We didn’t do sufficient to interrupt down 10 males, They set very deep and defended properly. It’s what they do,” the Victory coach mentioned.
Nonetheless, he was adamant his aspect ought to have been awarded a free-kick for a “clear offside” offence within the build-up to the nook that United scored from by way of a Josh Risdon header.
“It’s three metres offside earlier than the nook. It’s not shut. It’s to this point offside that I’m not likely positive what we now have to do now,” Popovic mentioned.
“When a participant runs with the ball into the field can we simply get out of the best way and say ‘let’s take an opportunity’?
“If he shoots and scores, the VAR will intervene. He’s operating in the direction of purpose. That’s a goal-scoring alternative. The VAR should intervene.
“They’ll’t say it’s not a goal-scoring alternative. It’s as a result of he’s operating in the direction of purpose.
“Now they’ll inform us completely different, and I’m positive the APL (Australian Skilled Leagues) will come out and put one other video and attempt to inform me how I’m improper once more … however that’s a transparent offside and a poor choice, very poor.”