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Jan 15, 2019   |  11:38AM AET

Barbarouses stood up for his team-mates – Muscat

Barbarouses stood up for his team-mates – Muscat

Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat praised hat-trick hero Kosta Barbarouses and his team’s overall display after a 5-0 win over Brisbane Roar.

Barbarouses scored his first Hyundai A-League hat-trick to go with goals from Ola Toivonen and Storm Roux at Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday.

It marked Victory’s third win in 11 days and moved it back to within three points of the top of the table.

Speaking at a post-match news conference, Muscat discussed Barbarouses’ performance and his side’s win.

on the win…
“We scored a very good goal, a very good team goal, and then there’s a response from Brisbane and that was expected. Brisbane have been responding for some period of time now and for us to defend and weather that 15-, 20-, 25-minute period was pleasing for us because in every game there’s going to be a moment, or part of the game where a team gets on top of you. Brisbane created one or two chances and Lawrence (Thomas) made one or two saves and then in the second half, I thought the belief in our physical conditioning was evident, really evident. It gave us the platform to go on and win the game comfortably.”

how the win impacts the team…
“The first thing that comes to mind is the players will take confidence from that. The performance was fairly good and really pleasing, but the most pleasing thing was the physical condition that the players run the game out. It was our fourth game in 11 days and a lot of those players out there have played the majority of those games. They’re enjoying that part of it because there’s not too much training, it’s not taxing in between, and they’re playing games and not having to listen to me because we’re not training. They’ll do the same again because we’ll get back to Melbourne and our next game is on Sunday.”

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on Barbarouses’ performance…
“He seems to like coming here as well. A lot of the players have played a lot of football and Kosta was one that didn’t play on the weekend so he felt it was a responsibility of his and the team asked him to be energetic and to keep making those forward runs, making himself available and he responded to his team-mates’ rally because the team asked him for that and he gets rewarded with the match ball.”

on keeping a clean sheet…
“Those moments in football games, we refer back to that 15-, 20-minute period where one team is behind and they start lifting the intensity, lifting the energy. They created a few chances in that period and Lawrence for that moment stood up and made a couple of really good saves and I thought Thomas Deng and Leigh Broxham were phenomenal. Both of them have played every minute of every game in the last 11 days so I’m pleased for them that they ended up holding on to that clean sheet.”