Muscat reluctant to start Finkler
Kevin Muscat has refused to heap praise on Gui Finkler despite admitting he was pleased with his performance in their 1-1 draw with the Wanderers.
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has refused to heap praise on Gui Finkler despite admitting he was pleased with his performance in their 1-1 draw with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Brazilian, who ruptured his ACL last season and has been finding his way back into form off the bench recently, struck a brilliant injury-time free-kick to earn Victory a deserved point in what was a riveting contest at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
And despite Finkler showing glimpses of the kind of performances that made him one of the Victory's most dangerous players earlier last season, Muscat admitted he has a long way to go to cement a starting berth.
"I'm actually quite happy with what Gui is delivering at the moment. He's coming on, he's changing the outcome of games. When he is ready to play 90 minutes, I'll play him," Muscat said.
"I'm not going to go into the details of it (but) Gui's come a long way. He's had a serious knee operation less than 12 months ago. There was a plan in place for Gui long before the last couple of weeks. We are certainly aware of Gui's ability but we are also aware of his body."
The midfielder's heroics ensure the Victory remain in third place on the A-League table, four points adrift of the Wanderers and seven behind league-leader's Brisbane.
Despite the lateness of Finkler's equaliser, Muscat insisted his side's performance was worthy of a point after dominating for large periods of what he described as a 'great' contest.
"We certainly left it late but from my perspective I thought it was a cracking game of football," Muscat said.
"These games, the tight games, played at that sort of intensity and that sought of pace, and especially against Western Sydney, you really need to get the first goal and then the dynamics of the game changes dramatically.
"Unfortunately we weren't able to take the opportunity but there was certainly enough created to take the lead tonight. We certainly deserved something out of the game and for anyone to suggest otherwise I'd be disappointed."
And despite crowd trouble that marred the build-up to Saturday's anticipated clash, Muscat believed the atmosphere on the night was something to behold
'There's no doubt the atmosphere in the stadium was special and the performance from both teams was fitting," he said.
"Both teams gave their fans something to sing about and the noise was brilliant. You turn the telly on and watch that it could be a game anywhere in the world."