Muscat: We’ll take a lot into ACL opener


Melbourne Victory Head Coach Kevin Muscat says he was pleased with the performance of his players despite a 2-0 loss to the Newcastle Jets.

A 34th minute Johnny Koutroumbis goal and a stunning late strike by Dimitri Petratos saw the Jets take all three points at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong on Saturday Night.

Victory remains third on the Hyundai A-League table and will its attention to the opening AFC Champions League match against Daegu FC at home on Tuesday.

On the performance

“Tonight, we created many good situations. I don’t get impressed by shots at goal because if that’s a measure – you can get shots at goal really easy. We’re trying to carve out and create chances and opportunities through a certain brand of football and I saw a lot to like tonight. We created the momentum almost all up until their goal. Scoring first would’ve made a huge difference. There were some real positives and some areas where we can continue working on to get better and better, and we’ll use the Champions League, more football, to get better and better.”

On recent form

“We really haven’t put ourselves in a position to make decisions. Almost all decisions to this day have been forced. Illness and injury – the players have done remarkably well considering the disruptions from week to week. Is it starting to affect us? I don’t think so because the performance again, didn’t earn the result, but there’s a lot to like from it and we’ll go into Tuesday’s game with confidence.

On Ola Toivonen’s fitness ahead of Tuesday’s match

“He’s improved near enough by day, the medical staff will assess him tomorrow and I’m always optimistic so hopefully yes. (Carl) Valeri is less likely.”

On Newcastle’s tactics

“With a team that’s so deep, you’re not going to get behind them too many times. They’ve got a block of five and they’re defending really deep. The amount of times you’re going to get behind it is limited. When you do manage to get behind, naturally you want to capitalise. So the transition moments occur when they are in attack and almost in transition themselves.”