Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat was disappointed to finish a game empty-handed for the second week in succession.
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat was disappointed to finish a game empty-handed for the second week in succession, but struggled to find fault with his team's performance in their 1-0 loss to Western Sydney on Saturday.
Victory have now suffered consecutive away defeats in the harbour city after going down 3-2 away to Sydney FC last weekend, and they were on the wrong end of another narrow reverse following a late Mark Bridge strike for the Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium.
Muscat has lost two of his three matches in charge since succeeding Ange Postecoglou as head coach, but the former club captain remained satisfied with the effort and endeavour of his players.
"The reality is tonight was a performance where we definitely should have got something out of the game," he said.
"I don't want to look too far ahead. Is there improvement in the side? Of course there is. There has been some ... distractions," he added, refereeing to the absence of Mark Milligan and Kosta Barbarouses through international duty.
"But it's not an excuse, we've got a big enough and good enough squad to cope with these things.
"The performance was good tonight, we're heading in the right direction. There's no doubt about that."
In their last three matches, a 3-2 win at home to Wellington Phoenix, followed by the two losses in Sydney, Victory have produced spells of dynamic attacking football, but struggled for consistency throughout the 90 minutes.
And Muscat acknowledged on Saturday that his team must learn how to capitalise on the periods of dominance they enjoy.
"When you're on top ... in the first half we gave far better than we were receiving," he said.
"That is the danger. If you don't take your opportunities ... and we didn't have a bundle of goal-scoring opportunities tonight, but we had a great deal of possession in their last third. And that was, looking at it now, somewhere we could have been better tonight.
"But all in all, I can't fault anyone. It's just disappointing, to go away with nothing. Very disappointing."
Victory's next opportunity to get back on track is a grudge match at home to long-term rivals Adelaide United next Saturday.