Kevin Muscat, aged 41, the coach of Melbourne Victory, said that his men will not distracted by the fight for a top-two finish as the A-League season enters its peak final weeks. He keeps on giving his men some chances to be ready with the tournament.
The team currently sits in the third place of the tournament, two points behind leader Wellington Phoenix but with a game in hand, with upcoming seven matches to play. Melbourne Victory has won two A-League Championships, two A-League Premiership and has competed in the AFC Champions League on three occasions. It has the largest supporter base in Australia and has consistently set record highs in membership and attendance.
Among the dogfight to reach a two-top finish, five teams have to deal with point aggregate which separate Wellington and fifth-placed Adelaide United. However, Muscat said it was essential that his men did not focus on the battle. According the coach, the only important stuff to think about is how to manage the line-up and also the strategies to deal with upcoming matches to win the league again.
“It is easy to get caught up, at this time of the year, among all the debate about who’s going to finish when on the final table,” the coach said.
Before his career as club manager, Muscat had been internationally known as a good defender for his teams. In 2011, Muscat announced his intention to retire from club football after the end of the 2011 Asian Champions League. Muscat has managed Melbourne Victory from 2013and earned a reputation as a ‘hard man’, with his aggression and passion occasionally boiling over into some violent incidents.
For the following week, Victory’s task is tougher with some upcoming away games in front of their eyes. However, it is such a bad news for the line-up that Kosta Barbarouses has a harmstring injury and has not been selected by New Zealand. On the other hand, midfielder Mark Milligan, Olyroos Scott Galloway, Connor Pain and Jason Geria and Daniel Georgievski will all be unavailable when Melbourne Victory hosts Central Coast Mariners in Round 23 of A-League.
“We will treat the injury as much respect as possible,” said the coach.
The in-form forward may have recovered in time to take on the Marines, but the aggressive coach admitted that he was unsure if he would be available for selection given New Zealand’s decision not to pick him on injury grounds