Melbourne Victory has left no stone unturned as it prepares for its AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
As well as conducting extensive video analysis, Victory head coach Kevin Muscat flew to South Korea at the weekend to watch Jeonbuk in action live in its K-League encounter with Suwon Bluewings.
Victory will host Jeonbuk at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Tuesday, May 17, before the return leg in South Korea a week later.
It’s unchartered territory for the club, which is competing in the knockout stage of Asia’s premier club competition for the first time.
“We’re pretty proud that we’re the first group in the club’s history to get out of the group stage,” Muscat told 1116 SEN.
“But why stop there now? Why put limitations on what we can do?
“I’ve had a really good look at Jeonbuk, and what I’ll say to the group is that we’ve got an opportunity to beat them, without doubt.
“We’ve got to have that belief. We’ve learned a lot over the last couple of campaigns.
“I’m looking forward to it. I want to create more history.”
Muscat hopes the increased emphasis placed on the AFC Champions League by Australian clubs has started to capture the attention of the fans, who have turned up in greater numbers to Victory’s home games in 2016.
And there’s an added incentive on Tuesday night, when Archie Thompson, Kosta Barbarouses and Matthieu Delpierre play their final home games for the club.
“We’ve seen the games we’ve had in the Champions League at home and it’s starting to gather a little bit of momentum,” Muscat said.
“The Shanghai game was a great atmosphere and we’re starting to create something in terms of coming to those games.
“They’re starting to become special nights in the calendar. The idea is that on the 17th the same thing occurs.
“We get a good crowd down there, get a favourable result in Melbourne and hopefully get the job done in Jeonbuk.”
Tickets for Victory’s Round of 16 home game against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are available by clicking here.