Victory switched on ahead of crucial Sydney clash

Melbourne Victory defender Angela Beard says her team is fully focused on the match against Sydney FC, following the wild weather that led to the postponement of last week’s game.

The Round 12 match against Canberra was called off after just 16 minutes due to lightning, with the replay now confirmed to go ahead on February 5.

Beard says the rarity was frustrating, but the team’s attitude must stay positive.

“I thought we were pretty much on top of the game. Our game plan that we had been practicing was really effective and unfortunately the game was stopped, and our momentum was stopped," Beard said

“We have our sights set on finals, on winning the premiership and it’s a bit stressful having so much decisiveness around but I think we’re just going game by game now.

“We’re looking at Sydney and Perth and as long as we get three points from both games, the Canberra game doesn’t really have too much of an effect.”

Victory take on Sydney FC this Sunday in a top of the table clash. Beard says the side is determined to make it two from two for the season against the Sky Blues, and would like to atone for her sending off in their previous meeting.

“We were all itching to play on the weekend and the fact that we didn’t – the whole buzz is carrying on to this weekend.

“It was a tight match last time, obviously a pretty eventful one for me but I think I’m going to keep the past game locked away and focus on this game.

“We really need to lock away three points to bring home what we’ve been working on all season.”

Sydney FC are on a three-game winning streak and Beard is wary of the firepower their opponents have, but is confident of a winning performance if all goes to plan.

“They’re really on our tails and I think this might be a key match for the whole season.

“If Caitlin Ford and Lisa De Vanna are on their game I think we might be in some trouble, but if we pull together and implement our game plan and we’re all at 100%, I think we can edge it.”

Since crossing from Brisbane Roar at the end of the 2016/17 season, Beard has made 21 appearances for the club and is excited for what the future holds.

“I’m pretty happy, I’ve never really been part of a team like this and the overall vibe is very good.”

The decision to join Victory was heavily influenced by coach Jeff Hopkins, who also managed Beard in Brisbane. The 21 year-old praised the club’s turnaround from last season.

“Jeff has always been ambitious, even when I had him as an assistant, he just tries to bring out the best in us.

“It’s the girls from overseas that Jeff has brought in that have helped us. Christine Nairn and Natasha Dowie as leaders have brought us together as a team and pulled us out of the mud when we’ve really needed it.”

Melbourne Victory takes on Sydney FC at Lakeside Stadium at 4pm on Sunday.