Melbourne Victory interim head coach Steve Kean was pleased with his side's fight after a 2-1 loss to Perth Glory in the A-League on Sunday.
Robbie Kruse had a first-half penalty saved at HBF Park, where Nick Ansell's red card turned the encounter.
Perth scored through Bruno Fornaroli and Chris Ikonomidis, but Victory fought hard and Rudy Gestede pulled a goal back, although it was unable to find an equaliser.
Speaking at his post-match news conference, Kean discussed the game, Kruse and Gestede and potential players returning.
on the game…
"I think when you miss a penalty then you obviously lose a man as well, it's difficult, but I took a lot of positives. The second part of the second half when we went to 10… I did think it was a bit harsh in all honestly. I don't think that Nick's touch was very good, he took a bad touch and then he's tried to get after his touch, but he's not got a nasty bone in his body and he's trying to go for the ball and I think he may have clipped slightly the opposition player, but I don't think it was malicious. I felt that was hard and tough against us, but we responded and with 10 we stayed with it. It's easy to go expansive and try and chase it and open yourself up, but we managed to get a goal and in the end in all honestly I'm disappointed we didn't get a draw because I felt we had another couple of chances near the end. Credit to the lads, they stuck with it, and that's an important thing for us, no matter what happens, we miss a penalty which anybody can, you have to have courage to step up and take it, you lose a player and then you concede quickly after that and then it's easy to throw the towel in and we certainly didn't do that and I think if our fans are watching back in Melbourne, I think (they) would've been proud that we gave it a good go and came back with 10 men and really pushed them right to the end."
on Kruse and Gestede…
"When you've got those two on the pitch, they've got a good understanding now, they've got a good synergy between each other, they know each other's runs, they know each other's strengths, but not only those two. I thought Ben Folami was excellent, Elvis Kamsoba when he was on was excellent, unfortunately he had to come off when we went to 10, Jacob Butterfield and Brimms (Jake Brimmer) stayed with it and made passes for us and we didn't really look too open at the back. I felt overall every one of our players put in a real good shift and that's the pleasing thing. It's difficult away from home, certainly when you go down to 10 men, but if we can stick with that structure and then just improve on a couple of little aspects of our game we'll get more chances and we'll win more games."
on potential players returning…
"Certainly we've got Adama (Traore) and he's been training really well. There is an outside chance we might get Callum McManaman which is another wide option with quality and with experience. The more we can get back the better, but the ones that we do have fit, hopefully they'll pull up okay, I think they've given a really good account of themselves and in the Macarthur game the younger lads that played done really well so if we can just keep going, step by step, you're never happy when you lose but if you can see progress, the things that we're working on the training ground and especially the determination to stay in games when you get a couple of blows against you, that's pleasing for us."