After Marco Rojas returned to form in fine style in Melbourne Victory's thumping of the Newcastle Jets on Sunday, Archie Thompson praised his fellow man up front
|By DEJAN KALINIC
Melbourne Victory attacker Archie Thompson has jokingly suggested Marco Rojas will need him at his club when he moves abroad.
The New Zealander winger returned to form against Newcastle on Sunday, netting an impressive brace in the 5-0 thrashing of the Jets at AAMI Park.
After a two-match absence, Thompson was back from a hamstring injury to face Gary van Egmond's side, starring in a central attacking role.
Australia international Thompson, who pulled up well after playing 58 minutes, said he jokingly suggested to Rojas he may have to move with him if one of the two European giants reportedly interested in his services sign him.
"I was giving it to him a bit during the week saying [if] he wants to move to Juventus or Liverpool that he needs me on that pitch," Thompson said on Monday.
"It was good for him to be on the scoresheet. He's been one of our outstanding players and the team's always going to do well when he's scoring goals."
The win ended a run of three-straight losses for the Victory, who sit third but are six points adrift of the second-placed Central Coast Mariners.
A top-two spot would leave Ange Postecoglou's men just a win from the grand final, but Thompson admitted Western Sydney and the Wanderers were unlikely to slip-up.
"It's hard to see it. Western Sydney have been unbelievable this year," he said.
"The way Poppa [coach Tony Popovic] has got them so disciplined and they're now leading and... probably one of the favourites which you wouldn't have thought at the start of the year.
"Football's a funny game. Things can turn around very quickly. We've just got to keep sticking to what we know, what we do, and just worry about ourselves and no-one else."
Thompson, 34, believes winning the championship from outside the top two is easier under the new finals system.
One of the top two is no longer guaranteed a spot in the grand final in the new format.
"With the finals structure how it is now, I think it's definitely a lot easier than what it was in the past," he said.
The Victory are yet to beat the Brisbane Roar under Postecoglou, but Thompson is keen to give his coach a win against his former club when the teams meet on Saturday.
"This is a match I think Ange more than anyone looks forward to. They had a good result against us in round two [in a 5-0 win]," he said.
"That's one that we'd like to turn around and obviously win one for Ange at his old stomping ground."