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No grace period for Mullen

Friday, 15 February 2013 5:04 PM
 
 

No grace period for Mullen

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou is confident recruit Daniel Mullen is ready to go in the centre of defence against the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Mullen made 58 appearances for Adelaide United from 2008 to 2012, picking up a Qantas Socceroos cap in 2009, and has returned to Australia from China's Dalian Aerbin on loan at Victory until the end of the season.

"We obviously have got quite a few absences (for tomorrow's game against Western Sydney) and there is seven games plus finals to go so there is no point in easing him in," Postecoglou said.

"We can't wait two or three weeks and the reason we signed him is because we felt he was ready to be thrown in.

"If I didn't think he was ready, we wouldn't have signed him. He is comfortable with that and we are happy to put him in there."

Postecoglou praised the setup at the Wanderers and while wary of their good form, believes his players can put last week's loss to Adelaide behind them and have faith in their style of football.

"They (Wanderers) are well coached and well organised and the players seem to have bought into the whole philosophy of the football club. They are running on that momentum now which is a pretty powerful thing," he said.

"They're playing with a lot of confidence and probably playing a little bit fearlessly because they have certainly exceeded everyone's expectations.

"We've been pretty consistent in trying to play our football. When we execute well and we play well, we are pretty hard to stop so from our point of view every week's an analysis of the opposition but how we can overcome them playing our game.

"We didn't really get into any flow or rhythm last week so it's really important for us to get into the game early, particularly here at home, and get the crowd behind us and play our football and try and take the game to them."

Postecoglou said Victory were gunning for both the premiership and championship despite the AFC Champions League spot only coming for the side who top the table at the end of the campaign.

"At the end of the day there are two trophies up for grabs. There is first place and the grand final and as I said - by the rules - that's the champions so we want to go for both," he said.

"With it coming down to the pointy end of the season, only seven games to go, we don't want to be dropping too many points, particularly when you are playing the teams around you."

Veteran striker Archie Thompson will miss the Wanderers clash with a hamstring injury while returning Socceroo Mark Milligan is available.

 
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