Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat remains unnerved by his side’s form despite a third consecutive loss, saying his team didn't deserve to lose to Perth on Wednesday night.
Victory’s third straight defeat at nib Stadium last night was the first time the reigning Hyundai A-League champions have recorded the unwanted run since February 2013.
Muscat’s men have also not found the back of the net since the 29th minute mark of their 2-1 win over Adelaide United on November 28 and Victory fans will be desperately hoping their side can turn things around in Saturday’s derby against arch rivals Melbourne City.
The coach is refusing to hit the panic button despite the critics circling around the out-of-form Victory.
“If you start worrying about the outcome, you’ll miss something,” Muscat said.
“Our objective now…is to give the group as much knowledge as possible and get them recovered and give them everything they need to go out and perform on Saturday.
“We’ll leave the worrying to someone else. We’ve just got to make sure we get our performance right.”
Muscat admitted post-match he was finding it difficult to swallow the upset loss to Perth because he felt his side “didn’t deserve to lose”.
“We had domination with the ball, but naturally when the opposition drops as deep as Perth did, we knew our chances were going to be limited,” Muscat said.
“We possibly didn’t capitalise on the amount of times we got in decent positions and when you get a good chance, you’ve got to take them.
“[Besart] Berisha hit the underside of the crossbar and if he scores there, they’ve got to change their whole structure, which would leave them vulnerable.”
Victory had travelled to New Zealand and then Sydney before making the long trip to Perth for Wednesday night’s match, but Muscat refused to blame the scheduling for his team’s form slump.
“I’m not going to place it down to anything because then we’re starting to look for excuses,” he said.
“If I was someone who looked for excuses, I could use that, but I’m certainly not going to allow anyone to use travel as an excuse. They’re the cards we’ve been drawn.
“Ultimately the idea is to score more than the opposition and we didn’t score tonight, so we have to improve, there’s no doubt.”
Veteran striker Archie Thompson remains in the mix to resume from a long-term knee injury against City and could be the key to helping break Victory’s scoring drought, which has now extended beyond five and a half hours.
“He’s trained very well over the last two weeks and he’s stepped it up in the last six or seven days,” Muscat said.
“He’ll train with the group on Friday and we’ll make a decision from there.”