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Jan 26, 2013

Rojas excels as Euro soccer scouts watch

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou says any question marks about Marco Rojas' ability to strut a bigger stage were answered on Saturday night with his five-star performance in torching Sydney FC.

Rojas scored one goal, did everything but get the scoresheet credit for another and stood up big-time in a big occasion match at AAMI Park to help his A-League side to a 3-1 win.

With a contingent from English Premier League club Liverpool at the match to discuss a potential off-season game in Australia, as well as scouts from Italian giants Juventus, Rojas turned on his sensational best.

Postecoglou believes how the A-League's hottest property handled the pressure shows he has the right people guiding his career.

And importantly, his coach believes he has developed the mental fortitude as well as the on-field ability to excel when he inevitably moves to Europe.

"There's obviously a lot of pressure on him, but I think he's got a pretty good network around him because, when you talk to him, he's not fazed by anything," Postecoglou said.

"That was a pretty big challenge for him with all the focus on him, and apparently there's a couple of thousand scouts out watching him.

"The fact he could perform like that shows if there were any question marks about him stepping up to a bigger stage, I think he answered them."

Postecoglou's side wrested second spot on the A-League ladder with the win.

But he now wants his side to chase down runaway leaders Central Coast Mariners, and believes they are capable of further lifting their football level to do that.

Their three points lifted them above Adelaide United into second after the Reds were beaten 3-1 by Central Coast on Friday night.

"We've been chipping away, chipping away. Now there's only one spot to go," said Postecoglou, whose team played the Mariners off the park early in their 1-1 draw in Launceston a fortnight ago.

"With nine games to go, the Mariners are going really well at the moment. But we want top spot. We haven't shied away from that - that's where we want to finish."

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