Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat believes Wednesday night’s triumph over Central Coast Mariners was a win for persistence in stifling conditions at AAMI Park.
The temperature hovered around the mid-30s during the match, with drinks breaks enforced during each half.
“The weather wasn’t conducive to the way we like to play, but we still persisted,” Muscat said after the game.
“You could see even in the first half we allowed them to get out of areas that normally teams wouldn’t get out against us.
“The game went at a slower pace. We want to play at a higher tempo. We want to ask questions of the opposition. It was difficult to do that tonight.
“But I thought we were clinical and well worth the three points.”
Muscat praised the performance of defensive duo James Donachie and Alan Baro, who have formed a strong partnership in the past few weeks.
Donachie scored Victory’s second goal with a header, and Baro was typically solid in the heart of the defence.
“I thought he (Donachie) was superb,” Muscat said. “He’s playing well. Alan was also exceptional tonight. There weren’t too many opportunities they didn’t stop.
“Both of them know that Nick (Ansell) is tapping them on the shoulder. It’s great for the squad when you’ve got that heathy rivalry and competition for places.”
Victory’s next home game is against Newcastle Jets at Geelong’s SImonds Stadium on Monday, January 2. Tickets are available here.