New coach Tony Popovic notched up a career first on Saturday when he led Melbourne Victory to an opening day A-League triumph over Western United, as the Asian Champions League winner looks to return the club to former glories.
Popovic, who led Western Sydney Wanderers to the Asian title in 2014, was appointed Victory coach ahead of the new season and the 1-0 away win in his competitive debut with the club was his first-ever opening day win as a coach.
"I've never won a Round 1 as a coach so it's a first for me, so when we say we needed lift off, it's a first for me as well," said Popovic.
"We're pleased to win the game. I think that was the most important thing. We know we didn't play so well in the first half, I felt, with the ball, but we stayed in the game."
Victory, who won thanks to Roderick Miranda's 75th minute header, have turned to Popovic to restore the club to the summit of football in Australia after a disappointing run that has seen them fall behind cross-town rivals Melbourne City.
The club won the most recent of their four A-League championships in 2018 and finished last in the 12-team competition last season.
Victory's meeting with Western United was their first A-League game since June and Popovic was pleased to see his side pick up the three points.
"We've barely played for so long, it's our first competitive game so (it was) scrappy at times but (I'm) happy that we were solid as a unit and we looked well organised," he said.
"In the second half, I felt we improved and we combined a lot better, moved the ball better and looked more of a threat; so overall, 1-0 win, I'm delighted away from home."
(Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Christopher Cushing)