Muscat: George has adapted unbelievably well


Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat praised his team and lauded Leroy George after a thrilling 3-2 win over Perth Glory on Saturday.

George set up goals for James Troisi and Mark Milligan and the 90th-minute winner scored by Kosta Barbarouses at AAMI Park.

Victory had to come from behind after an early Scott Neville header, and then pushed late following Diego Castro’s goal to make it 2-2.

Speaking at a news conference, Muscat was asked about George’s three assists, Terry Antonis’ performance and a win in Leigh Broxham’s 250th league game for the club.

on the dramatic finish…
“We’re certainly finding ways to make it difficult, but I’d rather concentrate on what was so good about that performance. I think we’ve added something because we’ve had performances like that where we’re the dominant team and that’s with all due respect to Kenny (Lowe) and Perth, we were the dominant team, playing some very good stuff, and I thought tonight we took a step forward because that goal we concede late, the easy option would be to down tools and feel sorry for yourself, but I think we added something to our performance tonight, the way we relentlessly went about pursuing the winner. It was fitting in the end that it was Leroy who sets up the goal. He set all three of them up tonight and he certainly deserved to be on a winning team anyway.”

on George’s form…
“Considering when we spoke about him at the start and it was going to take him a little bit of time because he joined us late in pre-season, he didn’t have a full one, and then he played in every position in that front third of the park whilst he’s trying to get used to the way we play and the intensity and one week it’s 41 degrees and four days later you’re playing in cold conditions so there’s a lot to get used to for foreigners that come over and he’s adapted unbelievably well. I daresay, three games in a week he’s played in, down in Geelong in different conditions to Wellington, in different conditions to tonight, and we take an opportunity now to give him a little bit of a rest before we take on Western Sydney next week.”

on Antonis’ starting debut for the club…
“He hasn’t played first-team football, he’s played a reasonable amount of reserve-team football in Holland so we weren’t taking any chances with him, we knew where he was at. He just adds a different dimension to us and you can start to see in that first half, Leroy and Kosta, when he gets the ball and he’s facing forward, they’re playing on the edge knowing he can find them and put balls in and he’ll get better. He’s got a lot more in him as well. Today we’re having to patch things up, having to put people in certain areas and then move people around, under those circumstances I thought it was a very good performance.”

on Broxham…
“In today’s day and age, I don’t think we should underestimate what he’s achieved – 250 (league) games for the one club and I suppose the biggest compliment, I thought a lot about Leigh over the last day or two and having to make a decision on who was going to start and typical of Leigh and his character, I didn’t want to get here and talk to him so I phoned him this afternoon. I thought he was due that courtesy and that respect and in typical Leigh fashion, he responded with, ‘I understand, no problems, it’s about the team’, and he’s earned every one of those 250 games he’s played for this club. He’s had no handouts, he’s had no chop outs, he’s earned everything he’s got so from that perspective I couldn’t be happier for him that he was out there at the end and the boys kept pushing, kept pushing and it was fitting that the team or everyone out there showed the typical Leigh Broxham attitude – never give up and keep going. I’m pleased for him, very pleased for him.”