You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Muscat puts faith in early A-League form

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/04/2017 Ben McKay

A last pre-finals tune-up awaits Melbourne Victory on Friday night and coach Kevin Muscat wants a performance against Central Coast to boost the club's push towards the A-League championship.

Not three points necessarily but a performance. And some goals would be nice too.

Victory are goalless in their past 286 minutes of football, the longest they have endured without a goal under Muscat.

It's not exactly the form that would inspire confidence, or the form that wins grand finals - according to Muscat.

In the wake of Victory's woeful 3-0 home loss to Wellington a fortnight ago, Muscat stressed no team could simply rock up to the finals and win without momentum.

Might that be where Victory find themselves at a crucial juncture of the season?

"That (goalless statistic) has taken me by surprise but I'm not concerned," Muscat said.

"If we talk about form, the definition is whatever suits your case.

"Our form over 26 weeks has been bloody good. Over three weeks maybe not so good."

Muscat said their goalless draw with the Wanderers last Saturday, marred by a second-half red card to Danny Georgievski, represented a turning of the corner.

"For 50 minutes away to Western Sydney, who scored three goals in their last three games, we completely dominated," he said.

"There was nothing wrong with our performance for 50 minutes... and the remaining 40 minutes we showed a lot of grit and determination and care not to concede.

"Yeah I would have liked three goals but I'm sure when they come they'll come in a flurry."

The suspended Georgievski is the only Victory player unavailable to face the Mariners, with defenders Alan Baro and Jason Geria returning after having served their bans for ill-discipline.

Muscat says he had "a good look" at the Mariners and listed an ex-Victory man as the first player he considers a threat.

Connor Pain left Melbourne in the off-season, with Mitch Austin heading the other way, and the 23-year-old has kicked on in Gosford.

Muscat said he wasn't surprised to see him, and fellow Victory departee Scott Galloway, doing well.

"It's the nature of the business. They've moved on and we wish him well, after tomorrow night's game," he said.

STATS THAT MATTER

* It's been four years since the Mariners last beat Victory, then coached by Ange Postecoglou, with a 6-2 drubbing on their way to the 2013 championship.

* Central Coast find a way to hit the back of the net in Melbourne and have scored in their past 11 trips to face Victory, dating back to 2009.

* Victory's Marco Rojas (12 goals, 11 assists) and Besart Berisha (18 goals, four assists) lead the league in goal involvements.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon