Monday, November 26, 2012
Victory's culture shift huge: Celeski
By Sam Lienert
Melbourne Victory midfielder Billy Celeski says a dramatic culture shift engineered by Ange Postecoglou is underpinning the A-League club's strong form.Celeski said the difference could hardly be starker between the current confident Victory and the outfit that finished a disappointing eighth last season, with many of the same players."The culture's definitely changed," Celeski said after training on Tuesday."It's night and day to last season."We were all obviously on notice when Ange got here and we're repaying his belief in us."He's got a lot of confidence in us as a team."The Victory took time to adjust to two-time Brisbane Roar championship coach Postecoglou's game style, losing their opening two games, the second of those a 5-0 hammering from Brisbane.But while the Roar are now sitting second-bottom, the Victory have surged to third, with three wins and a draw from their past four games.Celeski said Saturday's 2-0 away win over Western Sydney, achieved despite being a man down from the 15th minute, illustrated their growing spirit."There's a lot of belief amongst the boys," Celeski said."I think we sent a real message out to the rest of the league on the weekend."Even with 10 men we held a clean sheet and we're willing to work hard for each other and we're really going to be hard to break down."The Victory next meet Perth at AAMI Park on Friday night, although Celeski was already eyeing a clash with top-placed Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium a week later."Adelaide's got a six-point gap on us so it's important we stay in touch with them and they're playing really well," he said."We've got them in a couple of weeks so that's going to be a really important game for us."The Victory will lose three players for Friday night's match - Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan to international duty and Sam Gallagher to suspension.But Argentinian play-maker Marcos Flores will return from suspension.The Glory are set to lose Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite to Socceroos duties.