Gun Melbourne Victory recruit Jason Davidson claims hard-line coach Tony Popovic has cemented the foundations of “something special” to usher away the ghosts of last season’s horrendous wooden spoon effort.
With sweeping on and off field changes permeating the club and an opening round 1-0 victory over Western United to build on, the former Socceroos left back sees Popovic’s magic wand beginning to weave its alchemy.
Davidson was a siren for Popovic in his Premiership winning season in charge at Perth Glory back in 2019, and is positive the coach’s restorative powers remain as potent as ever.
“He demands 110 per cent of everyone at the club, from the players down,” Davidson told FTBL.
“The positive changes he’s made here have been unbelievable and he’s looking to create something special and take this club back to where it belongs.
“It was important to open the season with a clean sheet and three points and from here on I think you’ll see the rhythm will come.
“The team shipped far too many goals last season and everybody knows Poppa is committed to putting defensive structures in place to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“We knew that with so many of our players limited in preparation that it would be a battle against Western United but we’ve got plenty to build on now.”
Popovic will juggle his squad for Wednesday night’s FFA Cup playoff against Perth Glory in Adelaide, with the likes of Robbie Kruse, Marco Rojas and Francesco Margiotta needing to get minutes into their legs ahead of Sunday’s A-League Men visit of Brisbane Roar to AAMI Park.
With the largest membership base in the competition, Davidson feels the Navy Blue’s supporters will also have an important part to play in the club’s revival.
“The atmosphere they created against Western United was superb,” he noted. “This is about being part of one big family, and they’re a huge factor in that.
“You see how big the club is when you play your first away game after two not-the-best seasons and have pretty much 80 per cent of the stadium behind you (away at Western United).
“They’re so vocal and it was important for us to give them the three points.
“If we get a good result in the FFA Cup I think the first home game against Brisbane will be a cracker.
“It’s been a tough two years for the fans and we want to give something back to them.”