Victory to savour for McKain

Jon McKain loves to play in big grudge matches, and he put truth to that fact by playing an impacting role in the win over Melbourne Victory on Friday night and taking out the Kosmina/Muscat Medal.

Jon McKain loves to play in big grudge matches, and he put truth to that fact by playing an impacting role in the win over Melbourne Victory on Friday night and taking out the Kosmina/Muscat Medal.

For the second week running, McKain grasped the responsibility of United-s central midfield presence with both hands.

Confronted with the task of restricting the room and time on the ball for Victory-s playmakers, McKain was an imposing presence in the middle of the park and ensured the men in the fluro yellow, particularly Marcos Flores, were in for a torrid time.

“You-ve got to earn your stripes in this league. You give anyone time and space…anyone can beat anyone in this league. We matched them physically and I think that-s where we got them at the end of the day,” McKain said.

“He (Flores) is a great player and if you give him time and space he-ll cause you havoc, and obviously one of my jobs was to close him down and if I couldn-t get there, some of the other boys got there and it made his life really difficult, so it was a good performance.”

Speaking at the team-s recovery session at Glenelg, McKain knows any win is a win but admitted there was an added hint of delight getting the wood over the Reds- main rivals.

“It-s been a tough couple of weeks and obviously playing against Victory makes it a little bit sweeter…it was an important win,” McKain said.

“At the end of the day it-s only three points, but it-s a satisfying three points.”

Unlike a week earlier when Western Sydney put four past the Reds despite McKain being one of United-s standouts, it was a different story against the Victory as the former Socceroo led the charge to help keep one of the league-s most potent attacking teams scoreless.

It was the Reds- first clean sheet in five games, and being a natural defender, McKain confessed not conceding was arguably the most pleasing part of the result.

“For me that was almost the most satisfying thing. We worked a lot on a good structure this week and it worked really well, they (Melbourne Victory) didn-t create much at all and I don-t think Eugene (Galekovic) had to do much until the last 10-15 minutes where they were desperate and pushing forward,” McKain said.

McKain felt that the even contribution from every Reds player all over the park also contributed to making the night that extra bit special and showed what United are capable of achieving when everyone is on the same page.

“It-s really good when you finish a game, everyone did their job, everyone did it well - that-s really satisfying,” McKain said.

“Last night for me was probably one of the best team performances. Throughout the year we-ve had good patches where players have done things and won us games, but last night everyone put their hand up, everyone knew their jobs and everyone won their battles, and for me that-s really satisfying looking around and knowing that if you can-t get there, someone will cover you.”

In what was just his fourth appearance of the season, McKain also left special mention for the parochial Reds faithful that created a stirring atmosphere and also contributed to making life difficult and unpleasant for the travelling Victory.

“The crowd was fantastic. It was 12 thousand but for me, I-ve played overseas and that last night was close to a game overseas,” McKain said.

“There was a lot of whistling, a lot of pressure, you could feel it, and it makes it intimidating for oppositions and referees.”

“We play fair but at the same time we want to make it as intimidating as possible and I think the fans played a big hand in us winning last night.”