Muscat glad to see Victory rewarded

Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat was pleased to see his side’s fine performance rewarded with three points in a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar.

Kosta Barbarouses’ brace at Marvel Stadium on Saturday helped Victory end a six-match winless run in all competitions.

Eric Bautheac scored in the second half for Brisbane, but Victory claimed a deserved three points in the Hyundai A-League.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Muscat discussed Victory’s display, Matt Acton’s performance and Barbarouses’ double.

on the performance…
“I think we started really well, that first half, it was some real good football and I thought we controlled the game and dominated and had some end product for our efforts, scored a couple of good goals and created a number of opportunities. I think in relation to the performance, we actually finished actions off, we actually got the goals, got rewarded for the way we played. Coming back from Japan, credit to (head of high performance) Anthony Crea and the staff, they worked tirelessly to get the players recovered because the easy option is to sit back and wait because the mind is telling you that maybe that’s the best for the body, but to be as aggressive as we were in the first half and to play an attacking brand of football, asking questions rather than sitting back and trying not to close and then hopefully win. We took the game on so credit to the players and in reality, if I’m honest, we go 2-0 up and we should really kill the game off. It should’ve been more than that and then in the second half, you could sense we contributed to their goal heavily but responded very well. The performance in the second half became a little bit stretched from both teams, obviously they’re having a go because they’re behind and we’ve put in a big effort over the last seven days and it was telling, but the desire was still there and again, we had ample opportunities to make it three, four, five.”

on Acton…
“I thought he done some really good things, especially in that first half, coming for things, off his line and nice and bright, nice and sharp. I’m asking him to play quickly so I’ll take responsibility for anything with the goal because I’m asking to play quickly. Raul (Baena) has got to do better in that situation and find a pass. No blame labelled to anyone, I’ll take responsibility for that, but I thought, considering he hasn’t played for a while, he acquitted himself pretty well.”

on Barbarouses playing after the mass shootings in his native New Zealand…
“On behalf of the club, our condolences go to everybody across in Christchurch. I can’t imagine what the families of everybody affected are going through so on behalf of Melbourne Victory, our condolences. In relation to Kosta, it’s certainly a very emotional subject when you’re speaking to someone so just seeing Kosta and how he was, I didn’t feel the need to have that conversation with him, especially prior to the game and he responded tonight from the affects from his country very well.”

on Barbarouses’ form…
“He’d be the first to acknowledge the framework around him and the style of football we play, the type of football team we want to be. He could’ve had four or five tonight. He tried to go around the keeper a couple of times and maybe after the first one he should’ve learnt his lesson and hit the second one first time. I’m just shattered because it would’ve been such a beautiful goal, you go back and watch the build-up, it was intricate, it was very attractive. To Kosta himself, we’ve asked and we worked on him playing a different role, all the cries at the start of the year were that he’s not a striker and he needs to get out on the touchline and play out wide, but I certainly saw something in within the framework that we’ve got, that he’ll get chances and when he’s facing the opponent’s goal, when he’s running towards that opponent’s goal, he’s dangerous and he’s been rewarded tonight and the team has been rewarded with a performance that earnt three points.”