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Melbourne Victory's Leijer defends his players after Gold Coast criticism

Melbourne Victory's acting captain Adrian Leijer has backed his teammates after they were branded 'dirty' by Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg. The Victory defeated United 2-0 at AAMI Park yesterday thanks to a special double from prodigal son Danny Allsopp but it was the way the home side went about it which raised the ire of Bleiberg who said that the Victory were on the verge of dirty and played with an intimidatory style.

But Leijer has defended his side, rubbishing the 'dirty' tag.

"What he's come out and said is quite ridiculous,'' Leijer said.

"In the change-rooms this morning the players are all pretty much laughing at it.

"Over the six years of the A-League we've played some of the best football.

"We're proud of the way we play. By no means do we play brutal (football).

"We'll go out there and keep playing our good football, and when we get guys like Archie (Thompson) and Robbie (Kruse) back hopefully we're talking about the skills of those guys.''

And Leijer feels that the comments made by Bleiberg were to put the focus on the Victory ahead of a likely finals meeting between the two sides who currently sit fourth and fifth.

"He's trying to get referees on his side for when we play them in the finals - maybe that's what he's doing,'' Leijer added.

"The referees are doing a good job. They're smarter than that and they won't be drawn into it.

''(The comments) are unfair, and as a club we've stood up to a tough week and we'll continue to do that.''

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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