Kevin Muscat: Victory’s best can end Sydney’s streak


Undefeated Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC know Melbourne Victory’s best football will see them win Thursday night’s Big Blue, according to Kevin Muscat.

Sydney, which enters the Australia Day fixture at Etihad Stadium eight points clear of second-placed Victory, is aiming to become the competition’s ‘Invincibles’ by completing the season unbeaten.

But based on the two sides’ last meeting – when Victory missed a first-half penalty but still led at the break, only to lose 2-1 thanks to a controversial Sydney goal – Muscat is confident his team can end the Sky Blues’ run.

“If we put every brick in place, we’ll beat them,” the Victory head coach said on Wednesday.

“If we prepare well, which we have, if we turn up, if we deliver, our best is good enough to beat them. We know that and they know it also.”

Victory is coming off losses away to Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory last week, which Muscat put down to a lack of concentration from his players.

With the results still fresh in his mind, Muscat said Victory cannot afford to get caught up in the race for the Hyundai A-League Premiership.

“If we start worrying and concentrating on that I dare say we’ll miss the detail, and detail in the last two games has cost us points,” Muscat said.

Muscat also paid tribute to club stalwart Leigh Broxham, who is set to become Victory’s games record holder with his 225th Hyundai A-League appearance on Thursday night, moving clear of Archie Thompson.

Broxham – a former teammate of Muscat’s and in his 11th straight season at Victory – is renowned for his versatility, having played all across the defence and in midfield throughout his career.

“I don’t really get sentimental but, this one particularly, I felt the need to remind the players and congratulate him (Broxham) in front of his peers because he’s stood the test of time,” Muscat said.

“He’s really had to earn every one of those games.

“He’s someone who really epitomises what it’s all about at this football club – working hard, getting your head down, being humble, being respectful.”

Jason Geria, Oliver Bozanic, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Marco Rojas are all expected to return to Victory’s starting XI against Sydney.

Tickets for Victory’s blockbuster match against Sydney at Etihad Stadium are available here.