Football 3 years ago

Unity driving Victory forward: Finkler

  • Unity driving Victory forward: Finkler

Melbourne Victory's Brazilian wonder Gui Finkler says a sense of togetherness is driving the A-League champions towards back-to-back success.

Victory is on a run of four straight A-League wins as they head across the Tasman to face Wellington Phoenix in Auckland.

It's a spree that has taken them top of the table, despite playing a match fewer than the rest of the top six.

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Each of the club's five foreign imports - Finkler, Besart Berisha, Kosta Barbarouses, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Matthieu Delpierre - has picked up where they left off last season.

Finkler said it's that continuity that is driving their campaign.

"We were the only club to keep our five foreign players together. That's something that doesn't happen too often in Australia," he said.

"The feeling here is amazing. If we can continue winning together that will be great."

Berisha has shot to the top of the scoring charts, with six goals so far this season, including strikes in his last five appearances in the league and FFA Cup.

After signing a new two-year contract extension, Finkler said it could only inspire the Albanian to even better things.

"He is very important for us and I'm really happy he has re-signed so early in the season," he said.

"It's good for him, good for us, good for his family, and now he can enjoy the season even more."

Finkler himself is out of contract at season's end and said he was keen to extend his stay at Victory to a fifth season.

This campaign, Victory have been blessed by shorter-than-average injury list, but they will be without club captain Carl Valeri against the Phoenix.

The 31-year-old, who has missed matches due to a knee injury and suspension already this season, has been taken ill and didn't travel.

Against the club he led to two championships, Ernie Merrick has a full squad to pick from with the return to fitness of Ben Sigmund.

They're the odd side out in an A-League round marred by the fan protests.

Given their very existence in the competition depends on improving their crowds, club fan group Yellow Fever issued a statement saying they support the protests in spirit, but will be heading to Auckland.


* Victory have won 11 of their past 13 matches against Wellington.

* Besart Berisha has found the net in his last five A-League and FFA Cup starts - and in his last three against Wellington.

* Victory's last loss in New Zealand was an extraordinary 5-0 belting in January 2014. Since then, they've won 4-1 and 3-0 in Wellington.

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