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Toivonen says Victory improving after Brisbane win, Zlatan would star

“Because if it is up there, it’s up there. For the moment it’s just a rumour floating around so I don’t even want to talk about it.”

Toivonen will lead his team out against Western United on Saturday for the first ever encounter between the two clubs with Victory in a positive frame of mind following the 1-0 win over Brisbane last weekend, Victory’s first three points of the new campaign.

“I think we really came together as a team, it was really a team win and we were really, really satisfied. We really stood up for each other in 95 minutes and that was the biggest difference to the Wanderers game [which Victory lost the week before],” he says.


He admits that it has taken a while for new coach Marco Kurz to get his ideas across to the squad which also contains a lot of new players.

“Yeah a little bit. I mean you’re getting a new coach, you get a lot of new players in and of course it will take time,” he says.

“We just need to find a level everyone is comfortable with and to try to keep that level for a couple of weeks and when we dip, we cannot dip too deep – we must stay on a good level and I think we will grab the points in the future as well.

“We were playing a little bit more direct [against Brisbane], faster transitions and we were also standing better with the team in the defensive areas and we could [put] the ball in dangerous areas and counter.”

Toivonen is hopeful that a lack of pace in the Western line up – the visitors have several men in their 30s – will help Victory.

“If we play the same game we did in Brisbane I think we will be alright,” he says.

“It’s an experienced team we are going to play against but with experience and age also comes – I think our teammates are a little bit faster than the opposition so I hope we can use that.”

For Besart Berisha, United’s key striker, this will be an emotional occasion as it will be the first time he will play against his old team in new colours.


His sympathies are evident when he is asked if he will celebrate if he scores against his old side, although he makes clear sentiment will be the last thing on his mind, especially during the game.

“I don’t know. First of all you have to score. It’s a difficult challenge,” he says.

“But for now it’s all about my club, Western United. That’s where I will focus, on my team.

“It’s going to be very emotional for me, probably the most emotional game in my career so far.

“But I have a job to do, and the way I work and go about this game, I want to win every game. We will try to do this on Saturday.”

Berisha has now played four games and scored twice for Western and is confident he is honing his match fitness.

“So far I am happy with my form. It was not easy for me to come in just 10 days before the season kicked off and so far I am happy where I am, I am still progressing,” he says.

“I am not 100 per cent, but game by game I am feeling stronger, the understanding with the team is getting better, how they want to play. Every week I am getting better.”

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