Muscat praises Victory belief after Jets win


Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat praised his team’s belief after a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets.

James Troisi scored a tremendous 84th-minute winner after Terry Antonis’ opener had been cancelled out by Kaine Sheppard at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Kenny Athiu set up Antonis’ goal with a delightful touch, while Corey Brown played the pass to Troisi for his spectacular goal.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Muscat discussed his side’s win and Athiu’s display.

on the game…
“I thought it was an outstanding effort to go ahead the way we did and then to concede a goal, it was bouncing around and we just couldn’t get it away, and then to have the endeavour and belief to go on and get the winner, we earnt that result, make no mistake, thoroughly earnt it.”

on the title race…
“It’s important to put on a performance, it’s important to put on a performance that earns us three points. In relation to next week and next month and three and four months’ time, it’s way too early to be looking that far down the tunnel.”

on Athiu’s display…
“If you recall back to some of his performances last year, particularly in the Champions League, he showed that side of the game, he performed really well. He had a major setback for him in his first full pre-season as a professional because at that point he was looking really, really good and that setback during his preparation set him back a little bit, but he’s come back and he contributed enormously. Take into consideration as well the way the game is played because we want to press teams high and harry teams, against Newcastle it’s difficult to press them high, it’s a different style of game. They put you under a pressure with a lot of long balls in behind, forcing you to defend really deep so it was a different type of performance and from that perspective, I thought Leigh Broxham and Tommy Deng handled it really, really well. In the first half, it becomes a game of second balls when Newcastle have got it because it’s very direct and in the first half, we didn’t pick up enough or our fair enough share of the second balls to start building and turning them around by playing through the lines. In the second half, it was a totally different story, we made some adjustments with Kenny’s starting position in attack and then Elvis (Kamsoba’s) starting position in attack and it gave us a lot of ascendancy through getting the balls into areas on the ground and causing them problems, big problems.”

on Kosta Barbarouses…
“Kosta’s a little bit sore. It’s a different type of running that Kosta does. A lot of his work is at a high intensity. He’s been a little bit under the weather as well in the last 24 hours, 36 hours, so we decided the personnel we went with was the best option.”