Tension rising at Victory

Melbourne Victory legend and now assistant coach Kevin Muscat has conceded the battle for positions among the club's wealth of attacking options has been a source of tension during a difficult opening three weeks of the season.

Melbourne Victory legend and now assistant coach Kevin Muscat has conceded the battle for positions among the club's wealth of attacking options has been a source of tension during a difficult opening three weeks of the season.

Victory have built what looks on paper as the best credentialed attacking force in Hyundai A-League history, with Archie Thompson, Danny Allsopp and Carlos Hernandez joined by Harry Kewell, Marco Rojas, Jean Carlos Solorzano and Isaka Cernak in the off-season.

But all of that firepower is yet to yield a goal in 270 minutes of football, while a couple of players have begun to get frustrated with their lack of game time.

Muscat has called on all of the players to use the competition for places as a catalyst to step up their professionalism and to channel their frustration in positive ways.

"The reality is you are on a hiding to nothing because you have seven or eight very good attacking options in the squad. Ultimately you can only pick three or four. It's going to be difficult," he said.

"Does that upset players? Of course it does. Ask anyone who is not playing, whether it is here or anywhere else in the world, players aren't going to be happy. What's expected of them is a level of professionalism to work harder on the training track and get themselves into the first eleven."

The much-vaunted attack has been at the centre of much of the criticism of Victory, especially after Saturday's 0-0 draw with Melbourne Heart, but Muscat has said it is simplistic to look at just one aspect of game play in isolation.

"I think it's naive for someone to point at the pointy end and single out individuals because I've been in the game long enough and I can see it is right around the park," he said.

"If you start labelling, and it's been well-documented the forwards we have at our disposal, but chances don't get created by an individual three or four. It's a team effort."

Muscat acknowledged that if not for fine work of goalkeeper Ante Covic, who was brought into the club as a last minute signing after Tando Velaphi injured his leg, Victory could well be pointless through three games.

The two-time championship winning captain said the areas of deficiency, particularly around ball movement and an inability to keep possession, were being addressed.

"We have to work on a number of things. The movement off the ball in attacking areas and the movement off the ball in the midfield area has not been good enough and that leads to a lot of things," he said.

"We don't retain possession long enough, without the ball you don't score goals."

Muscat said that had led to a higher level of frustration from the players and had affected their confidence in how the team was playing.

"When these things happen, people lose a bit of confidence and that was certainly evident," he said.

"Frustration creeps in, because the expectation the players have on themselves is very high."

"There's a little bit of frustration at the moment and there's certainly a lot of work being done to rectify those areas."