Berisha's teammates 'have all got his back'

Controversial striker Besart Berisha has plenty of critics away from Melbourne Victory, but within the club there is only fierce support for him.

Berisha

Source: Getty Images

Berisha, the competition's leading goal-scorer with 14, and his Victory teammates will finally get back on the field for the first time since the explosive Melbourne derby when they play Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Monday night.

The game was delayed from Saturday because of heatwave conditions in NSW.

Asked if Berisha was just an ultra-competitive individual who was misunderstood, Victory winger Mitch Austin told The World Game: "He just wants to win, doesn't he.

Advertisement
"I haven't got a bad word to say about him and neither has anyone else in our team. He's a great guy and we've all got his back and everyone loves him, so yeah."

Austin said Berisha had gone out of his way to assist and encourage him since he joined the club from Central Coast Mariners at the end of last season.



"I obviously see him from close-up in the games and I know him off the pitch as well and he's a really nice guy," Austin said.

"Ever since I've been here, since day one, he has helped me out and looked after me."

Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis was suspended for five matches by FFA's independent disciplinary and ethics committee in the wake of the team's dramatic, 2-1 loss to Victory last weekend.

The committee found Bouzanis had committed the offence of "use of discriminatory language and/or gestures, including racist, religious, ethnic or sexist" for calling Berisha a "f****** gypsy".

Some of Berisha's critics thought he may have been lucky not to have received a yellow card for his provocative action in throwing the ball at Bouzanis after the late own goal by City defender Manny Muscat that clinched the win for Victory.



Austin said everyone at Victory had long since moved on from that game and were concentrating on trying to get a win against the Jets.

"He (Bouzanis) has apologised and Bes has accepted it and it's been dealt with by the FFA, so I think that's pretty much the end of it now," he said.

"No-one has really spoken about it here, to be honest. We've moved on and we're just concentrating on Monday's game."

Austin said Victory had not conceded they were only playing for second place behind runaway leaders Sydney FC as far as the Premier's Plate was concerned and that their aim would be to try to run the Sky Blues down as long as it was mathematically possible.

A win over Newcastle would leave Victory nine points behind the Sky Blues with eight rounds remaining.


Share
Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
3 min read
Published 12 February 2017 at 3:06pm
By Greg Prichard