Melbourne Victory is targeting a third straight win when it takes on Adelaide United in the Westfield W-League on Saturday.
Victory had a bye in Round 9, but claimed back-to-back wins over Perth Glory and the Newcastle Jets prior to that.
It produced a dominant performance in its win against the Jets, with Natasha Dowie and Darian Jenkins on the scoresheet.
The goal was Dowie's 30th in the Westfield W-League for the club, while Jenkins netted her first.
That win was its second straight 2-1 success, having managed the same result away to Perth.
Victory returns to action with another important game, making the trip to Marden Sports Complex.
With five games remaining in the regular season, Victory – which faced China in a friendly during its bye – is chasing a top-four finish.
The visit to Adelaide marks its second last away game of the regular season, with three of its final four outings at home.
Head coach Jeff Hopkins' pre-match thoughts
"We kept things ticking over, we didn't rest this week, we played China in a friendly game so that was excellent for us. It gave us an opportunity to play one or two players that needed some game time, kept our big-minute players ticking over as well and just gave us another game just to keep working on little improvements that we need to make week to week and we're really pleased with the way the game went so we've come back now and we've had a couple of days training so just looking forward to moving on into the weekend."
"It's something that we're very aware of and something that we're focused on and that's getting better each game. We're reviewing the games and just trying to fix up three or four little things each game and those small improvements we make each game over time I think will give us really big improvements as a team so that's really been our focus over the last month to six weeks and we feel we're definitely heading in the right direction. We're definitely not there yet, but with the attitude of the players being as it is that we're not perfect at the moment, we just need to keep getting better and better, their mindset's been really good and it's meant that if you're tracking us week to week you can see in all areas of our game we're getting better and better so it's pleasing, pleasing for the coaching staff that the players have got this attitude and they've really bought into it."
"They're definitely a well-coached side, definitely very competitive side as well. Most probably their league position doesn't really do justice to some of their performances, even last game (against Perth Glory) they were up in the game and conceded a very late equaliser as well which had they not done would've given them their first win of the season. We're definitely not taking them for granted, they're a good side, they've got a few good individual players and they're playing with a. lot of heart as well so they'll make things difficult at their place and we're looking forward to the game, but we understand what type of game it's going to be, it's going to be a real tough arm wrestle of a game so we're prepared for that."
on Laura Brock's comeback from a foot injury…
"That was one of the benefits of playing the game last week against China, that we could get Laura in, we could give her half a game and see how she coped with her first game back in seven months. She did really well. In terms of the injury, there was no problem with that at all. Her fitness looked good, she looked like she could've played longer but we didn't want to take any chances with her. She looked very comfortable against a very good side as well so it was really pleasing and now it's just about having a look at her in training this week and seeing how she pulls up from the game. It's a big jump not playing at all for, I think, six to seven months and jumping into there to play half a game. It's a big step for her so we've just got to monitor her through the week and make a decision on her later in the week."
Westfield W-League 2018/19 Round 8
Adelaide United 3-2 Melbourne Victory
Friday, December 21, 2018
Marden Sports Complex, Adelaide
Victory fell in Adelaide last season after goals from Veronica Latsko and Emily Condon either side of a Michelle Heyman penalty put the Reds in control.
Ella Mastrantonio and Laura Brock struck late, but Victory was unable to find an equaliser.
As it stands
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Marden Sports Complex, Adelaide
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT