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Australian Football: Popovic considers keeper switch

Melbourne Victory boss Tony Popovic has yet to make a decision on whether or not under-fire goalkeeper Ivan Kelava will keep his place against the Central Coast Mariners.

Victory are priced at 3/1 to win the 2021/22 A-League grand final but have slipped down the ladder after losing their last three games.

Kelava at fault

Kelava had a game to forget on Wednesday when Victory slipped to a 2-0 loss against Western Sydney Wanderers and there is now a chance he could be replaced by Matt Acton.

Popovic says Kelava was not the only player at fault and the defending leading up to both goals was also poor but he could not confirm whether he would keep his place in the side.

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"We'll review it to see what we can do better before it got to that situation," Popovic said. "Of course Ivan will review his work. I stick by him whether he plays or not.

"If a player doesn't start a game it's not about being happy (or unhappy) with a player. Whoever is selected for this match, the players that aren't selected are still expected to be ready to play.

"I've not said that he's going to start or not start. We could've done better before the ball got in the box and Ivan could've done better with the decisions."

Brillante to return

Victory will be boosted by the return of captain Josh Brillante who has served a one-match suspension and Popovic says it is important they bounce back against the Mariners.

"The feeling isn't so low. Losing three games in such a short space of time is certainly not ideal," he added. "We have to remember that when we played here in the cup final we were on a very good run and near the top of the table.

"Ten days later we haven't played poorly and have lost games. We haven't played well so we have an opportunity to put a good performance in."

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