Melbourne City FC star Damien Duff talked up Robert Koren after the marquee signing’s first appearance for the A-League club on Tuesday night.
Koren, 33, was sharp and impressive during the first half of City’s 5-0 thrashing of Hume City in a pre-season friendly at Broadmeadows Valley Park.
David Williams and Patrick Kisnorbo scored first-half goals for John van ‘t Schip’s side before Marc Marino, Stefan Mauk and trialist Stefan Zinni added efforts after the break.
Duff, who played just over a half, is delighted to have former Hull City and Slovenia midfielder Koren alongside him in Melbourne.
“It’s great. Obviously I’ve been training with him for the past couple of weeks and I know him from the Premier League,” former Chelsea and Fulham winger Duff told Perform post-game.
“He’s a good player, and a great addition to the squad. He’s a good guy.”
Duff switched flanks throughout a high-tempo first half and twice went close to scoring, including being denied by goalkeeper Chris Oldfield in a one-on-one.
Koren, playing in a number 10 role, had some nice touches and linked well with Duff.
The former West Brom man looked fit and quick despite having had fewer than three weeks of pre-season training.
It was Williams, the club’s top goalscorer last season and starting up front, who opened the scoring.
A long pass from Rob Wielaert created the chance before Williams bravely headed past an onrushing Oldfield, who crashed into him late.
Kisnorbo, who ended the half as a striker, produced a finish fitting of a number nine in a one-on-one with Oldfield in the 43rd minute.
A flurry of half-time changes, including Koren coming off, led to the match losing some intensity as the youngsters added some polish to the scoreline.
Duff said the match practice was most important, with the A-League season still over seven weeks away.
“I suppose you’re expected to win so it’s always funny like that,” he said.
“It’s a good workout for the lads. It’s all about getting minutes under your belt at this stage of the season.
“It’s a long pre-season so I’m sure we’ll be fit by the start. It’s a good workout and it’s always nice to get goals and a win.”