Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat says competition for places in Victory’s starting XI will ensure his team finishes the Hyundai A-League season full of running.
While Victory faces an uphill battle to catch Sydney FC for the Premiership, Muscat’s men are nine points clear of third-placed City with five games remaining this season.
On Friday, Muscat sent a message to the playing group at his press conference ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Perth Glory at AAMI Park.
“How do you guard against complacency? Well, it’s pretty simple – if you don’t perform, you don’t play,” Muscat said.
“And for the team as a collective to play to its abilities for 90 minutes, individually, you’ve got to be spot on.
“You fall short one, two, three players and collective performance is pretty ordinary.
“It’s a fortnight before our next game, so the players have got an opportunity tomorrow night, the ones that are selected, to go and keep their place.”
Muscat is wary of an in-form Perth team with plenty to play for in the remainder of the season, which is armed with one of the most influential players in the competition.
“(Diego) Castro is a phenomenal player,” Muscat said.
“When we’ve got the ball, we’re mindful of the responsibilities we have to make sure that he can’t hurt us.
“That might sound confusing, but he’s at his most dangerous when you’re attacking.
“We’ve got to make sure he’s looked after because he supplies the likes of (Andy) Keogh, (Adam) Taggart, (Chris) Harold, he supplies all the ammunition for them.”
Tickets for Saturday night’s match at AAMI Park are available here.