Muscat demands more of same from Victory

They set the benchmark against the Wanderers last weekend and now nothing less than that standard of performance will be acceptable for Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

After a disappointing fortnight, Victory got its season back on track against Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 25 of the Hyundai A-League, winning 2-0 against Western Sydney.

But the club's coaching staff has wasted no time in demanding a similarly positive performance of its players against the Phoenix in New Zealand.

“The performance last week just showed us what we are capable of," Muscat said.

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“It was a gentle reminder, apart from me always doing it, of what we are capable of when we apply ourselves and our attitude is right.

“It comes down to the individual to make sure that you are ready and prepared as best you possibly can.

“You can have an off day or an indifferent performance, but it can’t vary from one week to the next like it has in our last two games.

"We were embarrassed. Walking around town wasn't comfortable a couple of weeks ago. To respond the way we did was great."


Victory captain Carl Valeri was named as part of the extended travelling squad for the game against Wellington, but while acknowledging his presence has given a lift to the group, Muscat confirmed he won't be in the starting XI.

"We definitely won't start with him. He has been training for the last few weeks, and he has got to the point now where his training loads are as big as the rest of the team," he said.

"He has been itching to get amongst the group and to contribute. It's only right because his health is fine.

"He is still under no pressure... we have brought an extended squad. If he's OK, he will be involved. If he's not, fine.

"Any contribution he could make in terms of game time will be greatly appreciated in an area of the park where we have had a small group of players who have done unbelievably well for us in terms of how much work they have had to get through.

"I don't want to put a ceiling on it. If he gets 10 or 45 minutes in Wellington, great. We will wait and see how he responds and make the next decision from there.

"Most pleasing is that I am seeing Carl running around and he has a smile on his face when he is coming to work the next morning."