Muscat pleased with Victory performance


Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat was satisfied with his team’s performance in a 1-1 Derby draw with City on Saturday.

Ola Toivonen’s second-half opener was cancelled out by Dario Vidosic in additional time at AAMI Park.

The result saw Victory extend its unbeaten run in the Hyundai A-League to seven games.

Speaking at a post-match news conference, Muscat discussed the game and provided updates on Georg Niedermeier and Raul Baena’s injuries.

on the result…
“Because the goal comes very late in the piece, you can feel like you lost the game, but the reality is we’ve drawn the game. I thought there was a lot to like about our performance. I was really pleased. I think in the first half we were playing some good stuff without hurting them too much, without really asking some questions. In the second half, I thought we upped the intensity, upped the amount of passes we played forward, asked some more questions of them and scored an excellent goal, scored a tremendous goal. After that, if anything, we had two or three opportunities to get that second goal and that’s the nature of the team. At 1-0, in a great atmosphere, it was lovely to play in that, really thoroughly enjoyed it, the nature of the team is to go and try and score a second goal so that’s what we asked of the players, that’s what they enjoy and in the end you concede a goal in the 92nd minute, that’s life.”

on the performance…
“The result in the end is the outcome. The 1-1 is the outcome. It’s everything that happens before that that I’m interested in. The playing group were tremendous and put in an unbelievable effort. An unbelievable effort in being a team that wants to go and win a football game and is playing to win a football game, not playing to not lose. You can see the enjoyment and you can see the effort was tremendous. I don’t want the players feeling that we’ve lost the game because we conceded so late because that’s analysing the result. If that’s the case, we analyse the result. We all do it – the better coaches, the better journalists, do it less. Analyse the performance and that’s what we’ll do.”

on the equaliser…
“I haven’t seen it back yet. In the emotion of everything, because it was right in front of the bench, it was our throw-in, so there were some good learnings for us but I’m not going to let that moment overshadow the performance because that wouldn’t be fair on the players, it just wouldn’t be fair. We’ll look at it and the nature of the group and the nature of the club is wanting to get better so we’ll look at it and we’ll see how we can get better, while we’re working on what we did very well again.”

updates on Niedermeier and Baena…
“He (Niedermeier) is running, he’s full weight-bearing now so he’s out on the pitch. In the next week, two weeks, hopefully. But that means nothing because if he’s not back in two weeks you’ll be saying I lied. I’m more optimistic about Raul at this stage.”

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