Is this the best Melbourne Victory squad Kevin Muscat has assembled?
That’s a question on the mind of many Victory fans as the club prepares to defend their Championship title in the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season.
Victory will undoubtedly enter the new campaign among the favourites after their star-studded recruitment in the off-season.
But the Melbourne boss is keen for his charges to demonstrate that actions speak louder than words.
“I don’t really buy into all those things,” Muscat told Victory’s official website.
“That’s all it is at the moment – a group of names on a sheet of paper and we’re going to have to turn that into actions and performances.
“I’m excited about what we’ve got to work with, without doubt. I’m looking forward to getting everyone here and working as a group.”
The 2017/18 Champions were without Keisuke Honda, Ola Toivonen and Raul Baena in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers in Ballarat.
But there was an impressive debut performance from German defender Georg Niedermeier.
Victory dominated the pre-season encounter at Morshead Park and took the lead early on through James Troisi, but were left to rue a raft of missed chances as the Wanderers equalised late through Roly Bonevacia.
“I thought there was a lot to like, we’ve been working on some things and I thought for the main we were in control and we had quite a few chances,” Muscat said.
“The only thing that’s disappointing I suppose is that we don’t get the win that the performance deserved.
“There’s still a long way to go but I like to build on good habits. When we sit back and cut that up and analyse it, there was a lot to like.”