Confidence building at Victory

Saturday, 11 February 2012 8:59 AM

Confidence building at Victory

Melbourne Victory manager Jim Magilton says confidence is finally oozing through the camp following his side's crucial 2-1 win over league leaders the Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park on Friday.

Two sublime strikes from creative sparks Carlos Hernandez and Harry Kewell, after Tomas Rogic's opener for the Mariners, set the Victory on their way to a first win under their new boss.

Magilton has endured a frustrating spell at the club so far with second-half fade outs costing the Victory the three points against Adelaide and Sydney, but the Northern Irishman saw plenty of good signs as his side held on.

Loan signing Ubay Luzardo and Jimmy Jeggo anchored a new-look midfield as the Victory continued their push for a finals berth.

"It's the way I want to play. Ubay (Luzardo) came in and was very solid, it was a good debut for him," Magilton said.

"Jimmy (Jeggo) is someone I've always liked since I've been at the club, we were composed tonight. A lot of it is how I want to play."

"We went a goal behind and we showed great character. Again building on last week we needed a lift, we passed the ball well, the ball lands at Carlos at the end of the box and it's a magnificent strike."

"That gives us a lift, we start to pass the ball well, it's confidence, confidence flows through the team, then in the second half ... another wonderful strike from Harry."

The win moves the Victory into seventh a point ahead of Sydney, who host Perth on Saturday, and two points behind rivals Melbourne Heart, who still have a game in hand.

Integral to the win was the form of Hernandez.

The Costa Rican has been in and out of form lately but he left the crowd of 14,060 in no doubt when he found the back of the net in the 16th minute with a fierce strike from outside the box.

And Magilton insisted it was not only the individual brilliance of stars Kewell and Hernandez which was crucial to the team's success, but their application as well.

"He (Hernandez) worked his socks off, you look at his overall play, his overall commitment, his work ethic to get the ball back. He's a top class player," he said.

"If we can get him more in the front third of the pitch, we know he can produce that sort of quality."

"At the end of the day we all know that match-winners and those quality players can produce those sorts of things."

Captain Adrian Leijer believed the win would kick-start their push for a finals spot.

"This is what we have to build on. If you look at the past four games, we probably should have won three of the last four," Leijer said.

"To beat the top team is a huge confidence boost for us and we should take a lot out of that game. We are starting to play the way the (manager) wants us to play."

Indeed the Victory did look more fluid and it was the constant flow of chances and improved 'decision making' against a well-drilled unit in Central Coast, that pleased Magilton.

"I hope I'm standing here in six games time and we've won all of them. I'm absolutely delighted, there's no rest, no let up. We've got to go again, up to Brisbane, who are flying, and produce another performance like that," Magilton said.

"It's all confidence, the clean sheet last week gave us the confidence going into this game and the win tonight will give us confidence going into the Brisbane match next week."

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