Muscat keen on keeping George

Kevin Muscat has confirmed Melbourne Victory is doing all they can to keep the Dutchman at the club.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday ahead of this Friday’s ‘Derby Decider’, Muscat reflected on George’s impressive first season with Victory.

The manager also revealed that discussions with George and his management have already been held.

“We will do everything within our powers to keep him here and I certainly want him at the club,” stated Muscat.

For now, Muscat’s focus is solely on Friday night’s clash with neighbouring rivals Melbourne City, where a Victory win would leave the sides separated by one point.

Both Melbourne clubs have claimed a derby win in the Hyundai A-League so far this season, with Victory winning the latest with a 1-0 win in Round 12.

The next and final chapter promises to be another feisty affair with more than just bragging rights at stake.

On Leroy George…

“I’m not surprised other clubs are interested. Leroy has been very good for us and his performance last week was outstanding.

“All conversations with him and his management will remain private but we want him to be a part of the setup going forward.

“He’s a bubbly character and well liked at the club. He keeps asking the boys to get more free-kicks closer to goal. Technically he is sound, he works very hard and his corners and free-kicks have been good for us this season.”

Kevin Muscat on ‘The Decider’…

“The excitement factor is through the roof as it’s the final derby in front of a big crowd at AAMI Park. From our perspective it’s about building on our controlled performance from last week.

“They are always [feisty] and they’re always built as the ‘biggest derby ever’. If anything, we had a bit of practice last week, because the Adelaide game was built on rivalry.

“My focus is entirely on tomorrow night. The players understand the risks of following a good performance but we’ve identified those risks.”

On Melbourne City...

“It’s going to be an interesting battle, tactically and physically – especially in a pressured environment. Even though it’s an away game, we will have a strong following.

“An individual will have a moment to put their name up in lights but it’s the collective that come out on top.”

On the win over Adelaide…

“From the outside, it seemed like everything was against us. But the win was a reminder of what a resilient group we are. To show that type of toughness and character after travelling back from Shanghai was exceptional.

“We showed a great deal of restraint in a game which was pretty fierce. It was a contest, a battle and a bit of a fight. But we showed a bit more control and ended up with a positive result.”

On Asian Champions League preparation…

“For the Adelaide game, it was all about how we would manage to travel across to China and perform. But we have a lot of tough characters and we showed that on the night.

“I don’t have one eye on the Champions League at this stage. All our focus has been on tomorrow night’s game.”