Dugandzic pushes for further improvement


Mate Dugandzic’s two goals on Friday night helped Melbourne Heart FC to a 3-1 win in the Club’s 100th Hyundai A-League match, but the winger has called on further improvement.

Mate Dugandzic-s two goals on Friday night helped Melbourne Heart FC to a 3-1 win in the Club-s 100th Hyundai A-League match, but the winger has called on further improvement from the Red and White.

Dugandzic said the team had remained grounded in its celebrations following the team’s first win of the 2013-14 season, and recognised improvement is still required to resurrect the campaign.

“To be honest, there wasn-t too much celebrating; we were all happy and relieved to get the first win,” Dugandzic said.

“[But] we know ourselves it-s a long way into the season, playing 14-15 games winning only one game, it-s not good enough, we know that ourselves, so it was pretty low-key – just a few high-fives.”

While Dugandzic said the team did not dwell too much on the win, it could take a number of positives out of the result and performance.

“I suppose we could take a few positives out of the match, we played quite well, especially in the first half we dominated the majority of play… and we were able to fight back [from a goal down] and that was a promising thing we could take out of the game as well.”

There was a slight scare for the Red and White when Taylor Regan’s header hit the back of the net in the 37th minute giving the Newcastle Jets a shock 1-0 lead, but Dugandzic said the overwhelming feeling was not one of panic.

Instead of retreating, the Red and White took a stranglehold on the match, with Dugandzic playing a pivotal role in the momentum swing.

“I suppose we felt like we were always in the game, we felt like we were dominating – obviously they scored against the run of play,” Dugandzic said.

“But when Iain [Ramsay] scored it felt like it gave us an extra boost; we knew we were always in the match, we always knew that we were going to create more and more chances.”

Dugandzic-s first goal, on the stroke of half-time and a minute after Ramsay-s equaliser, turned the tide in the Red and White-s favour with the score at 2-1.

“When the opposition concedes two late goals, they are going to be feeling a little bit frustrated with themselves,” Dugandzic said.

“[JVS] said at half time to keep on going the way we were and keep on creating chances, and hopefully we can manage to get another one.

“Thankfully we did and obviously there were a couple more chances; i’ll put my hand up and say ‘I should have scored two more’.”

While he was the first to admit he could improve his finishing, Dugandzic still managed to seal the result with an excellent third goal.

“It was great, obviously it was a fantastic through ball by Iain; he saw me make the run and it was a perfectly weighted pass,” Dugandzic said.

“The keeper came out and I had a feeling he was going to jump so I just hit it low and thankfully it went in. It was fantastic to score in front of the Yarraside and get the win.”

Dugandzic’s two goal haul has earned him plaudits in the media and the Hyundai A-League-s ‘Player of the Week’, but the winger is just happy to be playing regularly after a long injury lay-off last season.

“Football is a team sport and at the end of the day I was on the end of two fantastic passes, one from Aziz and one by Iain,” Dugandzic said.

“Coming back from injury was tough, but I’m here now and you can’t really complain too much about what has happened, you just need to move on and keep on moving forward.”

Player Stats
Mate Dugandzic
Matches Played: 14
Games Started: 11
Substitute On: 3
Substitute Off: 7
Goals: 2
Assists: 2
Yellow Cards: 1