Kevin Muscat has slammed Melbourne Victory’s “lifeless” performance in their loss to Adelaide United on Friday night.
Victory was well below their usual effervescent best and paid the price, sunk by a 90th minute goal to Bruce Kamau at AAMI Park.
The defeat means they could end the weekend in sixth spot and nine points off top spot, all but ending the defence of their Premiers’ Plate.
“It was nowhere near good enough to win a football game,” a disappointed Muscat told Fox Sports of his side’s performance.
“Maybe it’s a little bit of a reality check for us as well. There seems to be a lot of things spoken about but that performance tonight was nowhere near where it should be.”
Victory, normally so dangerous in the front third, struggled to create many good chances against the well-organised and supremely disciplined Reds defence.
Gui Finkler went the closest to a goal with a free-kick that cannoned into the crossbar but Victory was sloppy in possession and constantly turned over the ball.
“If you can’t keep the ball for long enough, you can’t implement what you’re trying to do,” Muscat lamented.
“There was far too many times we did turn the ball over. It’s not to point the finger at the ball carrier all the time either, maybe we could be making it easier for the person on the ball by getting into passing lanes for them.
“It was just a lifeless performance from us and uncharacteristic as well... just very disappointing.”
Muscat said it was vital his team moved on quickly, with an ACL game against Shanghai SIPG on Wednesday, followed by a Big Blue against Sydney FC next weekend.
“I don’t think I need to speak to [the players] too much about that performance,” he said.
“They will know it themselves and collectively we’ll dust ourselves off. We’ve got an important game on Wednesday night now.”