Muscat: Our first half was outstanding


Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat praised his team’s performance in its 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday night.

Goals from Rhys Williams and Kosta Barbarouses saw Victory to its win, lifting it into fifth in the Hyundai A-League.

Massimo Maccarone scored for the Roar, but the visitors held on at Suncorp Stadium, with Besart Berisha denied a late sealer by the video assistant referee (VAR).

The head coach shared his thoughts in a post-match news conference…

on bouncing back with a win…
“The focus all week was on performance and it was a really good week where there were some discussions had about last week’s game. There was not anyone who was pleased throughout the week, but the focus immediately after that review was the performance in Brisbane on Sunday night. Every detail from the staff and all the execution from the players was purely about putting in a performance that we could be proud of. Unfortunately, it doesn’t guarantee you anything.

“Ultimately, the performances lead to, the majority of times, good results. In that first half, I thought we were excellent. I thought we were outstanding. For us to come in at 2-0 (up), Jamie Young has pulled off two or three outstanding saves in the first half, it could’ve been one or two more.

“The nature of football, away from home and even at home, you’re not going to get it all your own way for 90 minutes and whether Maccarone’s goal was close or offside or not, we had one exactly the same in Wellington a couple of weeks ago when Bes scored and it was ruled out so there’s just a little bit of confusion from that perspective. The handball (for Berisha’s effort that was ruled out) it hits his hand. I think along the way we’ll get better. It didn’t affect the result tonight which is the main thing.”

Kosta Barbarouses

on trying to find consistency…
“The whole week is making sure we cocoon the players from any noise or any opinions. Naturally, people are doing their jobs and we respect that, but we wanted to protect the players from that and really focus on a performance and now, how long can we maintain that for? That’ll be another challenge laid down to the group. This season for us has been a unique season with a different set of circumstances with the internationals, the sudden-death qualifier, New Zealand played in one, so there’s a lot of uniqueness about it. I feel for Johnny (Aloisi, Roar coach) as well because I think he’s probably in a similar boat for different reasons where it’s a unique season and situation for him.

“We’re having to work hard on things that maybe haven’t occurred to us before, but one thing tonight showed me and two weeks ago in Wellington showed me is that there’s a good football team. We’re a good football team. We’ve got to find that consistency so no doubt from now until we get back to Melbourne tomorrow afternoon, we’ll start working on making sure we have another positive week and the messages we get to the players about how we can be better and for longer because I thought we were much better this week than we were last week and the result looked after itself.”

on Leigh Broxham coming off at half-time…
“He was just generally sore and fatigued. He felt dehydrated as well and his body was aching, he had some muscle ache, but we’ll assess him and see how he goes during the week.”

Leigh Broxham