Ange Postecoglou
Ange Postecoglou Getty Images

'Postecoglou making mark already'

HE HAS been there only two days, but former Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou has already made his mark on the Melbourne Victory.

Though sacking goalkeeper Ante Covic and veteran Grant Brebner might have raised a few eyebrows, Victory captain Adrian Leijer said the players understood Postecoglou was following a strategy that had been highly successful at the Roar.

"It's disappointing for the boys, but Ange also shocked a few people when he cleared out a few big names when he started at the Roar," Leijer said.

"It's a fresh start and the coach has the utmost respect."

Although the players would normally be enjoying up to three months off, Leijer said everyone who was fit was back on the track preparing for the clash against Greek giant Olympiakos at Etihad Stadium on May 19.

Leijer, who has played in friendlies for the Victory against the LA Galaxy, Celtic and Boca Juniors, will be part of this team because he is recovering from osteitis pubis and hip surgery that has brought a premature end to his season.

But he said everyone had already noticed changes to they way they trained under Postecoglou.

"The boys have already said they're doing things differently. Things like passing and movement off the ball," Leijer said.

"Ange lifted the standard of the entire A-League in his time at Brisbane. He's proved what a great coach he is and we're really excited he's here."

Although the Victory has the home ground advantage against Olympiakos, the visitors will have a fitness edge as their season is still going.

The club completed the domestic double last weekend by downing Atromitos 2-1 to win the Greek Cup.

It had already sewn up the championship.

Club officials announced the side yesterday to play in Melbourne.

It included Greek internationals Vasilios Torosidis, Jose Holebas, Avram Papadopulos and Yiannis Maniatis.

Other international players to travel down under will include Belgian goal machine Kevin Miralas, Sweden captain Olof Mellberg and former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll.

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