JASON Geria says Melbourne Victory has an issue with selfishness. But that’s a good thing, the right back insists, saying Victory’s five-game winning streak is in part driven by individuals’ fear of losing their spot in the team.
The level of competition for spots coach Kevin Muscat has created is at a level rarely seen at an A-League club.
Geria said players know all too well that they may be one poor performance, or one slice of bad luck, away from falling out of the starting side. And they also know if they suffer that fate they may not get their spot back – just ask Daniel Georgievski, Nick Ansell and Mitch Austin, he said. “It’s been evident in that guys who have been absent for various reasons,” Geria said.
“Guys, be it through injury or form, have had people come in and replace them and then the people that have replaced them have often kept that spot.
“Broxy (Leigh Broxham) has been playing left back for about five weeks, Donks (James Donachie) came in at centre back when Nick got injured and kept his spot, Fahid (Ben Khalfallah) came back in with Mitch out injured and stayed there.
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“It’s been made clear that if you play well you keep spot.”
Geria, a Socceroo last year, said he could have been flirting with the axe too such was his start to the season.
“I knew I wasn’t playing well. My spot was definitely up for grabs,” he said.
“But I made a point of just settling myself down and they knew that I was trying to reassess.
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“But I certainly felt that selection pressure and it made me knuckle down.”
Victory (second) faces a huge clash with Brisbane (fourth) at AAMI Park.
And with the top four teams establishing a break on the rest of the competition, Geria said games against fellow ladder-leaders are significant.
“It’s not wanting to be disrespectful to other teams, but you definitely could say that,” he said.
“There is that little bit of a gap between the top four and the rest. But even between first and fourth, Sydney is really pulling away.
“So staying in touch with them is very important, but then we want to keep our winning run going also.
“Brisbane is very important. A win against them, especially with the two games away we’ve got next week, it’ll set us up nicely.”
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