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Jan 12, 2013

Victory's self-belief missing: Postecoglou

It is soccer's harsh reality.

Goals win games, not necessarily superb football or the better team on the day.

So, Melbourne Victory's sublime first 45 minutes, in which they played football so beautiful to look at you wanted to put a frame around it, was matched by Central Coast Mariners' gritty urban scrawl in the second half of their 1-1 A-League draw in Launceston.

But amid any disappointment at two points lost, Victory coach Ange Postecoglou hopes the match serves as a catalyst for his team, saying their lack of self-belief is costing them goals and valuable A-League points.

He says their first 45 minutes in which they played the competition leaders off the park - but only managed one goal from sundry attempts - should prove to the players that they are serious championship contenders.

But Postecoglou says the players have to believe in themselves, rather than leave it to their coach or others to spell it out for them.

"If somebody tells me I'm good, I don't really believe them - I've got to feel it myself," Postecoglou said.

"It's no good me telling the players they're good. They've got to understand it and believe it themselves.

"Hopefully, (the first half performance) will instil some self-belief into the players that 'you know what, we don't have to take a backward step to anyone'.

"When we go out and play our football, we're a good side."

The Victory's Tasmanian excursion drew a 6000-plus crowd to Aurora Stadium and helped raise funds to help those affected by the state's bushfires.

Defender Nick Ansell, who went off at halftime with a groin strain, will be assessed this week ahead of their away clash with Perth Glory.

Midfielder Billy Celeski will miss that game through suspension after picking up another booking against Central Coast to exceed his yellow-card limit.

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