Muscat: It's the end of a chapter

Kevin Muscat believes a chapter was closed after his final game as Melbourne Victory head coach on Wednesday.

Victory suffered a 3-1 loss to Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the AFC Champions League, marking Muscat's final game at the helm.

It was announced on Monday Muscat would end his time at the club at season's end after 14 years at Victory.

Despite Ola Toivonen's stunning free-kick, Victory was beaten by Sanfrecce in Group F in what was also Carl Valeri's final professional game.

Speaking at a post-match news conference, Muscat discussed the game, his exit and Keisuke Honda's final Victory appearance.

on the game…
"It's a little bit surreal because it's not easy to say goodbye. On the game first and foremost I thought the group, taking into consideration everything that's happened in the last 10, 11, 12 days, all the emotion of the football and everything else that's gone on, it was some effort, it was some effort from them and I suppose it's an end of a chapter now, that's all it is, it's an end of a chapter. The football club will still be here and over a period of time, I know that what's gone in, the foundations that have been laid at this football club, there's a lot of good people that remain here and I look forward to watching the football club progress."

on Benjamin Carrigan…
"I was really pleased for him, really, really pleased for him. His story is quite remarkable as well because he's been with the youth team for quite some period and a lot of players get to his age and not give up, give up is not the right word, they get lured into the NPL because they can earn a few hundred dollars. He stuck it out and he's earnt that opportunity tonight, he wasn't handed it, he earnt that opportunity and I thought he was excellent and I told him that and I wish him well."

on the AFC Champions League…
"We could sit here and discuss it at length and it probably does need some time. Not making any excuses, if you look at Sanfrecce, their squad, so deep, so big and so deep and without getting into the point where you're making excuses, you're up against good teams and good players. There were moments as well. I look back at the first game where we were very, very good and lost at home 3-1 to a team (Daegu) that played on the break and in transition so reassessing that, tactically should we have been a little bit deeper? There are many reasons but the truth is you're up against good teams with very good players and it's not easy."

on Keisuke Honda…
"I've got a lot of respect for Keisuke. He's tried everything to perform at his best and I know that as a person I've got a very good relationship with Keisuke and it was an opportunity that he thanked me and in return I'm thanking you also and I wish him well in his next adventure. The first conversation I had was he wanted to be somewhere where he could continue playing at a level because his ambition is to go to the Olympic Games in 2020 so I wish him well wherever he is next season and like everybody who wears that navy blue shirt, he'll remain a part of this family."