Without question, it has been a disappointing year for the Melbourne Victory Football Club, who had to go through a managerial change at the start of the new calendar year.
On Dec. 31, the Victory took on Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium and were dismantled 3-1. Harry Kewell scored his third goal of the season to give Melbourne an early lead that was relinquished just before halftime.
In his place was Jim Magilton, whose time at the helm took place following the game against the Newcastle Jets. Two own goals from Jets defender Sung-Hwan Byun proved to be the difference in the Victory's 2-1 win over Newcastle.
Jan. 22 saw the most lopsided defeat in the Magilton era, as they were punched out of nib Stadium by Perth Glory 4-1. Kewell scored the only goal of the match for the Victory in the 68th minute of play.
On Jan 26, Melbourne and Sydney FC resumed their rivalry at AAMi Park. But goals from Isaka Cernak and Fabio in the 45th minute were not enough, as the Victory relinquished yet another lead to settle for a 2-2 draw.
"They've shown me that they certainly have it within them to play attractive football, to play a winning brand of football, to be able to take on all the instructions and go out and actually carry them out," Magilton told Dejan Kalinic of melbournevictory.com.au. "It was important to give a response, it was important for our fans to see that these lads actually care and they did, and they responded very well."
For Magilton, confidence is key heading into the home stretch of the regular season.
"Confidence for a footballer is massive. It makes them believe that they can dig in, dig in for each other, and win a game of football," Magilton added.
Up next for Melbourne is a match with Gold Coast United at Aurora Stadium in Launceston, Tasmania. Kickoff is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7:00 p.m. AEST and will be televised by Fox Sports 1.