It was a nervous start to the National Premier League for Altona Magic on Saturday night.
With a new coach and a new squad it was always going to take some time for the Magic to come together.
A slow start proved costly for the Magic against Heidelberg United. Heidelberg scored in the first half to set up a 1-0 half time lead.
The Magic had a couple of good chances in the second half, but wasn’t able to make the most of them, losing 1-0.
Magic coach Goran Lozanovski said they would take a lot out of the game.
“There were a lot of good learnings,” he said. “More about ourselves then the opposition.
“I think we will definitely grow from this and get better each week.
“We need to get better collectively and individually.
Lozanovski said while they had shown some good signs in the pre-season, he said the group appeared to be a bit jittery in the first half.
He said in the second half they had their chances to get back into the game on the scoreboard.
“We had a couple of good chances,” he said. “There was one where their keeper dropped the ball under pressure and we should have tapped it in.
“There was one in the first half where Stephen Lawless should have scored and we had a couple of half chances.
“Had we scored I think it would have given us the confidence and we would have come away with it.”
Lozanovski said it will continue to take time for them to come together, but they need to ensure that they are picking up points along the way as well.
He said it was a matter of being smart with how they face each opposition.
“The growth is delayed a couple of weeks but we are getting a bit more unity,” he said. “We will get there.
“There’s a lot of young boys and they will be better for it. They need to get that consistency across 90 minutes.”
The Magic this Friday face Dandenong City. City, which was promoted in the off season, started the season with a 4-3 loss to Avondale.
Lozanovski said they can’t take them easy.
“They were another club that got promoted and have improved their squad as well,” he said. “They have a bit more stability than we do.
“We will grow as we gel and there’s always opportunities. We have to be smart with how we tackle them,
“Hopefully walk away with something out of this game, it’s important.”