VIDEO: No Jets hoodoo for Muscat


Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says his side can’t expect to just ‘turn up’ and claim the points on Saturday, insisting his side will need to be at its best to beat Newcastle.

Muscat says Melbourne Victory’s poor record away to the Newcastle Jets won’t be hanging over his players on Saturday.

Victory haven’t beaten the Jets on the road in six attempts, their last win at Hunter Stadium coming back in October 2009.

Muscat played in that game, while stalwarts Adrian Leijer, Leigh Broxham and Archie Thompson are the other survivors from the matchday squad which registered a 3-1 triumph.

“We go across there with a totally different team to any other previous game,” the coach told reporters on Friday.

“That plays no bearing in the outcome of the result.”

Those claims are somewhat disingenuous, with as few as three changes likely to be made from the Victory starting XI that drew 2-2 away to the Jets in April last year.

That lacklustre showing late in the campaign ultimately contributed to the Big V missing out on third place and AFC Champions League qualification for 2015, and Muscat is determined not see his team drop points against one of the competition’s perennial strugglers again this weekend.

“The only thing that comes into play for the outcome is our performance,” he said.

“It’s just as simple as that. They’ll be buoyed by getting back on their home surface. We’ll be prepared when kick-off comes at five o’clock. 

The Jets, having been drawn away from home in each of the first four rounds of the season as the Hunter Stadium pitch is re-surfaced, are yet to win under new coach Phil Stubbins.

With their opponents in such underwhelming form, Muscat is wary of suggestions a long-overdue away win for the navy blue and whites can be considered a given.

“We still have to turn up,” he said.

“If we think we’re going to roll into town, take for granted that they haven’t won a game, they haven’t played on their home ground, we’ll come back here with nothing. We’ve got to be at our best. You’ve got to be at your best every week, or somewhere near it, to get results.”

International marquee striker Besart Berisha is likely to return at centre-forward this weekend, with Leigh Broxham to continue deputising in defence alongside Adrian Leijer, who is available again after serving a one-match suspension.