Muscat laments Victory mistakes


Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat rued his team’s errors after its unbeaten run was ended by Wellington Phoenix.

Victory played almost the entire game at Westpac Stadium on Wednesday with 10 men after Rhys Williams’ eighth-minute red card.

While the visitors went ahead thanks to Kosta Barbarouses, a Roy Krishna tap in and Mark Milligan own goal saw Phoenix claim a 2-1 win, ending Victory’s run without a loss at four games.

Speaking afterwards, Muscat was asked about the use of the video assistant referee (VAR) for Williams’ red and his team’s display in New Zealand.

On the game…
“The result is normally a byproduct of the performance, normally. The performance is difficult to analyse because we’ve made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes, individual mistakes that make it hard or make it harder to execute as we planned. The first one, Rhys gets himself in a position and – uncharacteristically for him, he’s been superb all year, he’s been really good for us – he makes an error and then Lawrence (Thomas) makes another uncharacteristic error for that first goal which gave them belief. For periods in between, we took a lead with a good goal in the first half, had another couple of chances, one Leroy (George) goes through was a very, very good opportunity to maybe increase the lead at half-time and in the second half it was a big, big effort from the group, but it wasn’t to be.”

on the VAR being used for Williams’ red card…
“There’s no point me analysing that because it’s out of our control. First and foremost, we’ll analyse how we got ourselves in that situation and why and how we can get better, but like I said, it was an uncharacteristic mistake by Rhys and gave the referee, the VAR, an opportunity. It’s a little bit confusing but there’s no point going on about it. A couple of weeks back and all the dialogue that came out was – I was led to believe, maybe my definition of the statement that I read wasn’t accurate – the VAR wasn’t going to interfere or suggest changing yellow cards to red. Is that the right decision? Probably not, but are the rules the rules or are they only the rules occasionally? So, I’m not going to make too much out of it but I just want to know what the rules are.”

on improving…
“There are areas where we need to get better and right now, the emotion of the situation, but we’ve got to be serious and have a look where we can get better. The effort within a changed structure, a structure we reverted to after working on some situations if we go down a man, and scoring a goal after that and creating one or two more chances from it, so there’s some good things that we need to maintain and improve on, but there’s obviously areas that as a professional outfit we need to get better at.”