Muscat hails Victory young guns after ACL win
Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat has paid tribute to the youngsters in his squad after they wrapped their AFC Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win over Shanghai SIPG at AAMI Park.
With a Hyundai A-League Elimination Final against Adelaide United on Sunday, Muscat made seven changes from the side that played Sydney FC on Friday night.
The fresh-faced Victory side produced an entertaining display, with goals from Pierce Waring and Jai Ingham securing the win.
“I was really proud of their efforts and really pleased for them,” Muscat told Fox Sports after the game.
“There's always a danger when you throw so many new faces into a team.
“There's a lot required of them, making sure they stick together and communicate and all those sorts of things.
“They didn't let anyone down and did themselves proud.
“In the end I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Muscat said.
The more established members of the Victory side are likely to return for Sunday's Hyundai A-League Elimination Final against Adelaide United.
But Muscat said the younger members of his playing group had certainly given him food for thought.
“Maybe not so much for Sunday, but for the future,” he said.
“They've put in a good shift tonight.
“The players who missed out will be raring to go.
“Looking on from the sidelines or upstairs tonight, they can certainly take some encouragement from the effort that the eleven boys and the three that came on put in tonight.”
With their Champions League campaign now over, Victory now turns heir attention to the Hyundai A-League Finals Series, starting with a mouth-watering clash with fierce rivals Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Sunday.
“It seems now that every team is a rival of ours,” smiled Muscat.
“It's another big game and it'll be a good atmosphere.
“I can certainly guarantee we'll be doing our utmost to make Sunday another special evening,” he said.