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Victory on the rise: Muscat

NZN 26/11/2016 Ben McKay

Kevin Muscat has Melbourne Victory in second place on the A-League table but he sees the team improving further, after a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle Jets.

The weight of numbers told for Victory at AAMI Park.

Muscat's side hit 21 shots while passing at 85 per cent, dominating possession and territory.

Yet for almost an hour the match remained goalless as the busy James Troisi got unlucky and the formidable Besart Berisha remained subdued.

Troisi took 10 of those shots in the most lively performance of his second stint with Victory, telling Fox Sports he'd worked hard to recover his conditioning after a tough season in Saudi Arabia and China.

"I had a couple shots today and it wasn't my day. But the most important thing was we got the three points," he said.

"We could have had a few more today."

Berisha struggled to test Jack Duncan, producing a shocker on 13 minutes when it was easier to score than miss from Troisi's ball.

The Albanian has scored just twice from open play this season but Muscat said he saw his frontman playing a pivotal role.

"What we're finding in the moment with Bes is that players around him are getting more opportunities because he draws so much attention," he said.

"He's doing a selfless task at the moment for us. Those goals will come for him."

It was left to another Victory attacked to be the game changer: Marco Rojas.

Rojas broke the deadlock by striking a deflected free kick before picking up the ball in Newcastle's half and finishing past Duncan two minutes later.

The Kiwi Messi has picked up where he left the A-League three seasons ago, and is the only man to score or assist in every match he's played in this season.

Muscat said the deflected opener - recorded as an own goal - needed to go to his winger.

"It's gotta be his goal doesn't it?," he asked.

"He's struck the ball on target and it's been deflected in.

"Maybe they'll have a rethink and he'll be awarded it. I think he should be."

The title-winning coach suggested he wasn't surprised to learn of their new ladder position - even if others weren't as pleased with their start to the season.

"There was a bit of frustration growing from outside AAMI Park and outside of our offices," he said.

"We've had a very good start to the year.

"For the first time tonight we had some real selection dilemmas. People putting pressure on players in front of them."

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