Ante Milicic has bashed the knee-jerk criticism of his Matildas side, calling it par for the course in Australian football.
With all the satisfaction of having devised a well-worked game plan and seen his players execute it, Ante Milicic hailed the spirit of his Matildas side after their epic 3-2 win over Brazil.
Milicic, who has travelled with the Socceroos under coaches Ange Postecoglou, Bert van Marwijk and Graham Arnold for tournaments and matches, knew he had just been a part of something special.
"The last five years I've been on the road, I've been away from home and I've been in some fantastic stadiums with some great players with big atmospheres," he said.
"And tonight I must say, it's one of the finest Australian performances that I've seen."
Milicic pulled the strings on a number of smart tactical manoeuvres.
Experienced midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight was deployed at left back ahead of a specialist full-back given Clare Polkinghorne's unavailability.
He kept faith with Tameka Yallop and Chloe Logarzo in midfield despite listless efforts against Italy and was rewarded with superb showings.
And while Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord were yet to fire or combine well in the team's first 120 minutes in France, they swapped positions and had a hand in two goals.
"They've played a lot of football together particularly from their younger ages. So it's good to see them combine, I thought it worked well," he said.
But more than a masterclass from the dugout, this victory came from the gut.
The Matildas entered the tournament, for the first time, as one of the favourites - ranked No.6 in the world and expected to breeze through their group.
When they came up short against Italy in their first outing, many came for the team with pitchforks.
While Sam Kerr lashed out at the negativity, telling critics to "suck on that one", Milicic sighed and said he'd grown used to it.
"I don't think it will ever go to bed because that's just Australian football these days, isn't it?" he said.
"The important thing is that we as a staff give these girls every opportunity to be successful at this tournament and the outside noise stays out.
"We really have to focus on the job because opportunities at a World Cup don't come around often enough, and these girls fully understand that this is their time now."
Milicic vowed to build on the win.
"We didn't lose our belief. If the team lost its belief, they don't come back from games like that," he said.
"But most importantly we are not getting ahead of ourselves. It's only our first win.
"We'll give the girls all the information possible so they are best prepared to achieve a positive result against Jamaica, and at the same time a performance that everyone can be proud of."