Muscat praises ‘excellent’ Victory performance

Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat was delighted with his team’s performance after a 4-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Keisuke Honda, Raul Baena, Kosta Barbarouses and Terry Antonis were on the scoresheet as Victory recorded its fourth straight win with an emphatic display at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Muscat discussed his side’s display, Ola Toivonen’s performance and provided updates on Baena and defender Nick Ansell.

on the performance…
“I was pleased, pleased with a lot of aspects of our game, off the back of a very good performance and a six-day turnaround that gets reduced to five because one of those is travel. The preparation from the playing group was outstanding throughout the week and gave themselves an opportunity to perform the way they did. There was a lot of pleasing stuff, a lot of pleasing contributions, but collectively, as a group, I thought it was excellent.”

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on how quickly his team has gelled…
“Possibly not surprised, because I didn’t really put a time limit or a period of when things were going to click into gear. I still think the players will want to improve on things, but Ola comes into the team and he’s a different type of player to what we had in the first four rounds. There are adjustments from the group and understanding in the group, we changed things a little bit structurally to give us a little bit more threat going forward based on the opposition and where space was, where we thought space would be created and there were some real big contributions. We decided to err on the side of caution with Georg (Niedermeier) with his head knock from last week and James Troisi falls ill over the last couple of nights. The most pleasing thing, if it’s possible, is that Nick comes into the team, Raul comes into the team and the understanding of what’s required from them and the execution to contribute the way they did was very, very good for the team.”

on Baena and Ansell’s substitutions…
“Last week Raul got 30-odd minutes and this week the plan was maybe to get a little bit longer, but the way the game went, there was no reason to extend that time any further. Nick, we’ll have to wait and see. It was a fairly heavy collision that, immediately, it annoyed me because it was unnecessary. Nick’s been pushed into the goalkeeper and it annoyed me so we’ll have to wait and see. It was more to do with his shoulder.”

on Toivonen’s display…
“To sum it up in maybe one moment or action, when that ball comes across and he has the composure in the box just to lay that pass off to Terry for the fourth goal, I think that sums him up. They’re the type of moments, the type of actions he can bring to the team. You could see immediately when Kosta looked up, Keisuke played Kosta in and Kosta immediately found Ola and immediately then Terry just took off, expecting Ola to do what Ola did and in the end it was a very nice team goal.”