Nicolas Milanovic is enjoying a strong spell in his young career and maintains his focus is fixed on continuing to repay the trust shown him in.
John Aloisi brought the 20-year-old off the bench in Round 1 against Melbourne City and he made good on that chance, pulling a goal back as United fell to a narrow defeat.
That impressive cameo followed on from a superb pre-season period, and Milanovic admitted he is enjoying his football and hoping to carry on.
“It’s a positive to get a goal early, confidence is high because I’ve had a good pre-season,” he said.
“The boss has taken more trust in me, bringing me on earlier and giving me more game time. For me, it’s just about keeping on giving him that trust when I come on and perform, so he has no problem when someone’s injured or I need to come in and I’m ready to do the job.”
Despite his eye-catching cameo, United’s youngest ever goalscorer said the match was a disappointing one to begin the season but insisted there are positives to take out of it.
“The game was disappointing obviously. It was a tough loss to take, because obviously Melbourne City are rivals and you want to beat them every time you play them,” he said.
“There were some good things that we can look back on and say that we did will, but obviously it was clear that we weren’t at our best, but that’s something we can take forward into the Sydney game.”
With a slightly longer turnaround of nine days between games, Aloisi has put the players through their paces in training, working on ways to improve heading into the side’s home opener against Sydney FC on Sunday.
Milanovic said the team has been preparing well and that the group is ready to go again in search of a first win of the new campaign.
“We’re buzzing for it. We’re preparing well for this game and we’ve gone through a lot of things that we need to fix from the Melbourne City game, and I think the boys will be up and ready for it,” he said.
Being the first opportunity United will have this season to play in front of a home crowd, the Green and Black army will return to AAMI Park in full voice to push the players over the line.
An impressive turnout from the United end brought a tremendous atmosphere in Round 1, and Milanovic said it hasn’t gone unnoticed within the camp and ensures the players are determined to repay the fan’s support.
“Fans are your 12th man, they rev you up and they give you a buzz to win the game. You can see the numbers are getting higher and higher in that end,” he said.
“If you see from the first year to now, it’s improved so much so if we can keep building on that and the fans keep revving us up, I’m sure we can give them what they want.”
Western United fans can take part in family-friendly activities at Gosch’s Paddock and join the Championship Trophy march before kick-off, with general admission tickets behind the goal locked at just $20 for adults and $40 for families.