Muscat pleased with Victory display


Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat hailed his team’s display after its 4-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.

Keisuke Honda, James Troisi, Corey Brown and Josh Hope were on the scoresheet as Victory recorded a comprehensive win at AAMI Park.

Victory dominated the first half, taking a 3-0 lead into the break, and the opening 45 minutes pleased Muscat.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Muscat discussed his side’s performance, Hope’s first senior goal and Leigh Broxham’s contribution after being a late addition to the starting XI following Jai Ingham’s injury.

on the start to the season…
“Putting everything into perspective, the four games was our first period before we stop for the international games, considering the way we played in the first games and weren’t rewarded with the results, I think the last two games have been a great response from us. That first half today was tremendous. It was exciting, it was disciplined, it was controlled, it was measured, had a lot of desire about it and some really good football. It really gives us something to work towards over this week and then leading into our next game.”

on the change in formation…
“It was an option for us. Five minutes before our goal last week against Newcastle we changed formation. It’s a bit hard to pick up because obviously you’re zooming in on the ball and the player, but we were rewarded immediately last week. Keisuke and Jimmy played in behind Kosta (Barbarouses) and we were rewarded immediately and it gave us a platform. Formation is a buzzword at the moment, I think we’ve given up on culture and motivation and now formation is the buzzword in this country. The reality is there’s so much movement in that front four, in any given instance if you pause the game, it’s difficult for you to be able to say what the formation is at that given point and I thought that’s what it was in the first half at times. Keisuke was the highest forward, making forward runs at times, it was Kosta at times, it was Terry (Antonis) from the other side, Leigh Broxham joined in, it was really fluent. I really enjoyed watching it and the players certainly enjoyed it and it was nice to watch and we created a number of chances in that first half, we could’ve had quite a few more.”

on Hope’s first senior goal and Ola Toivonen’s assist…
“We’ve just congratulated Josh on his milestone and his first goal. It was great to see him come on and again he’s been working away, working away and the thing is with these players – and I see so much good from Josh in training – transferring that into first-team football, here at AAMI Park, here at Melbourne Victory, that’s the next hurdle for him. He’s got an abundance of ability and the next step is to translate that into moments like we’ve seen for that goal. Ola’s run was very clever and you’ll see in weeks to come and you’ll draw your own opinions in weeks to come, he’s a very clever footballer. He made that look a lot easier than it was. The execution – one touch to control, second one to play the ball into Josh’s path – he made it look a lot easier than it was.”

on Broxham’s contribution…
“Leigh’s a special person for us to have at this football club. His contribution over the years, against long odds, he’s always having to work his hardest, and always having to work to a point to be able to contribute and he hasn’t let us down. For him to have that mental capacity to come in and towards the end there he doesn’t even want to come off, but he’s run himself into the ground and he’s telling me he’s all right, he wants to stay on, but I thought it was a good chance for us to get Josh on and give some fresh legs.”