Rojas grows in Ange's eyes

Saturday, 26 January 2013 10:07 PM

Rojas grows in Ange's eyes

He may have been a touch unlucky not to have been credited with a brace in Saturday's 3-1 win over Sydney, but that performance has earned Marco Rojas even more respect in the eyes of his coach Ange Postecoglou.

Rojas looked to have pushed his season tally up to 12 with a goal in each half, but his first-half shot, which took a deflection off Sydney defender Seb Ryall, was ruled as an own goal rather than another one for the brilliant winger.

The referee's paperwork didn't not change Postecoglou's pride in Rojas, particular after a week where the diminutive Kiwi's future was again the subject of much speculation with rumours that he was being scouted by Liverpool and Juventus.

"For young players, you look at them overcoming challenges, that was a pretty big challenge today with all the focus and apparently there are a couple thousand scouts watching him," Postecoglou said.

"The fact that he can perform like that shows that if there are any question marks about him stepping up to a bigger stage, I think he answered them today."

Expectation was not the only thing weighing on Rojas, with Sydney's defenders determined to put physical pressure on him whenever they could.

Again, according to his coach, he passed that test easily.

"The way we play, and the players protect him in many respects, allows him to go out there and perform to the best of his ability," he said.

"It's part of the game. We're not expecting people not to touch him. He understands that. He's been getting attention for a while but that's part of what we do and we expect him to cope with that and he does. He does it really well."

Much has been written about Rojas' transformation this year, but Postecolgou said his Victory team-mates, in particular Archie Thompson, deserve their fair share of praise for Rojas' spectacular development.

"The way we play helps him in that respect, he doesn't have to get involved in too much of the physical stuff," he said.

"Again, Archie was good tonight, he scored a goal and again he was threatening whenever we went forward. If they focus too much on Marco then I think it allows Archie to do his stuff."

Postecoglou is also pleased with the way Rojas has taken on the responsibility of taking the free kicks and corners after Gui Finkler went down with a knee injury, saying it added another string to his bow.

"Marco is taking the responsibility, and he's working at it at training," he said.

"It's certainly about him, his execution and it's an area of his game he wants to improve. At the moment we are giving at that responsibility and I think he can get better at it for sure."

Who will score our first goal in 2014-15?