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Muscat not focused on A-League title race

AAP logoAAP 2/01/2017 Ben McKay

The A-League increasingly looks like a two-horse race for the premiership but Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says it would be folly to focus on the title at the half-way point.

With a fourth-straight win on Monday night, a 4-2 defeat of Newcastle Jets in Geelong, Victory moved back to within seven points of leaders Sydney FC.

The Sky Blues and Navy Blues were the only sides to win during the New Year's round, with Victory boasting a five-point gap and a catch-up game in hand on third-placed Brisbane Roar.

The competition's foundation rivals appear to be laying the foundations for a gripping title race to rival the 2014/15 campaign.

Muscat's Victory pipped Graham Arnold's road warriors - Sydney didn't lose a single away match during that campaign - by three points to claim the premiership before a stunning 3-0 grand final win brought the Victorians a third championship.

On form, that match-up would be repeated and perhaps reversed - dependant on the result of the two forthcoming Big Blues between FC and Victory.

Their next match-up comes on Australia Day at Etihad Stadium before an Allianz Stadium date on March 3.

It's a tasty prospect for A-League fans but Muscat isn't focused on any title race.

"I haven't thought about it," he said after their dismissal of Newcastle.

"You might think I do. You might think I'm not telling the truth. I haven't given it consideration.

"There's so many more twists and turns.

"I just want to make sure we're on the right side of those twists and turns when they do."

Victory are now unbeaten in seven games, with a last loss coming against Sydney in November.

Against the Jets, they overcame a sluggish start before hitting their strides, with each of Muscat's attacking quartet - Besart Berisha, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Marco Rojas and James Troisi - finding the net.

Berisha's goal, which took him on top of the all-time A-League goalscoring charts, was a record-breaker and Troisi's effort was a drought-breaker.

The Socceroo midfielder finally scored his first goal since re-joining the club with his 35th shot on goal.

Muscat said the stress-relieving goal could fire him on further.

"He's made a huge contribution (and) I honestly think we can utilise him more.

"If teams want to press us with large numbers, we can get the ball to him a lot quicker. He caused havoc with his passes and through balls.

"There's so much more to come from James Troisi this season."

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