Durakovic pleads case for Victory job

by AAP on May 12, 2011

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His eight-week job interview over, caretaker coach Mehmet Durakovic says he can improve Melbourne Victory further if appointed fulltime at the A-League club.

Former Socceroo Durakovic faces a nervous wait to find out whether he gets the coaching job permanently after his side's Asian Champions League exit this week.

No timeframe has been set for the Victory board to decide on Ernie Merrick's fulltime successor.

And with the new A-League season not starting until October, there is no pressure to sift through the 70-plus applicants for a winner.

But Durakovic's CV and job prospects have been enriched through the club's performance in five matches under his command in the ACL.

After losing his opening game, the Victory have been unbeaten in their past four.

They were unlucky not to win their past two - the players clearly responding to Durakovic's urge to play a fluid, crisp passing style of football using width.

Their 1-1 away draw with Jeju United in South Korea on Wednesday night produced close to the best football the Victory have played in three failed ACL campaigns.

Poor refereeing decisions - including two wrongly disallowed goals against Jeju - and a horror 5-1 opening match loss to Gamba Osaka, which didn't happen on Durakovic's watch, proved the Victory's ultimate undoing.

"It's up to the board, but I just hope the board can see there's been a lot of positives in the team and the way I want them to play," Durakovic said from Korea on Thursday.

"The pleasing thing is the players have responded to my tactics and the way I wanted to play.

"With the short space of time I've had, these boys have really come a long way.

"We've got a long way to go ... with a good pre-season, hopefully these boys will be fitter, technically sharper and playing with the intensity I want them to play the game at."

The Victory will continue training for another two weeks before their belated end-of-season break ahead of the expected October 7 season kickoff.