Muscat has decisions to make ahead of Wanderers clash


Kevin Muscat has some welcome selection headaches ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Western Sydney Wanderers. 

Muscat will be without attackers Jai Ingham (quad) and Kenny Athiu (hamstring) for at least the next month, but otherwise boasts a full complement of players to choose from across the park.

“It’s my responsibility to pick the best team possible, the team we think gives us the most chance of being successful,” Muscat said.

“We haven’t made all the decisions yet, we still have a day-and-a-half to do so.”

The former defender hopes Georg Niedermeier will be part of his team on Saturday, with the German having gone through all appropriate concussion tests following a head knock late in the win against Sydney FC. 

“Georg has been nursed back in [to training] following his knock last week.

“He’s on the track and going through the [concussion protocol], so we’ll continue to monitor him.”

Muscat was able to call on Ola Toivonen for over an hour at Kogarah, but won’t put a timeline on the Swede’s ability to play out the full 90 minutes, instead focusing on the striker making an impact in the minutes he does play.

“I don’t know, that’s the honest answer.

“It’s difficult to put a time frame on it, we’re more interested in quality at the moment and, like I said, the players are still understanding the strengths of each other.

“This is the first time the group got to play with Ola and, likewise, that Ola got to play with the group in a competitive game.

“The understanding between the team and Ola – and vice versa – will continue to grow.

“He made some really good contributions last week, some really good runs. He’s a clever footballer.”

Raul Baena is also in the mix following his return from a hamstring strain, joining Club captain Carl Valeri, Keisuke Honda and Terry Antonis in a battle for places in Muscat’s engine room. 

But with his squad nearing full fitness and in good form, the Melbourne Victory boss isn’t taking his eye off the ball.

“The only thing at the front of my mind is tomorrow night. I won’t look – and won’t allow anyone to look – further than tomorrow night.

“We’re at home after being on the road and look forward to playing in front of our members and fans and putting on a performance worthy of three points.”