Muscat: List responds to Ange

Melbourne Victory assistant coach Kevin Muscat has praised the manner in which the club's renewed playing list has handled the transition in intensity and style under new boss Ange Postecoglou.

Melbourne Victory assistant coach Kevin Muscat has praised the manner in which the club's renewed playing list has handled the transition in intensity and style under new boss Ange Postecoglou.

Muscat, the two-time premiership winning captain, who retired 18 months ago, has watched with no envy as Postecoglou has worked over the players, asking them to commit to a more demanding playing style along with the requisite rise in fitness.

The amount of work covered in the four-month pre-season has Muscat very confident of Victory's prospects of success, both in Friday night's season opener against Melbourne Heart and in the season as a whole.

"For the last three months, it has been nothing but positives. Players have had to respond to a certain gamestyle that the boss has been implementing, and they've reacted well to that. That coupled with the amount of conditioning we've done over the last three months, it puts us in good stead," Muscat said at the club's season launch on Wednesday.

"After every pre-season, every player says it was the hardest one they have been through. I can certainly vouch that while I've been here, it's the hardest the players have been pushed.

"Not only in terms of conditioning, but that's been coupled with working on a game style which we can produce on Friday night and throughout the season.

"We have been trying to work on both those aspects at the same time. It isn't easy but the boys have coped very well with it."

Striker Archie Thompson, who like Muscat has witnessed or participated in every one Victory's previous seven pre-season campaigns, agrees with his old team-mate that the players have been working very hard.

"We've definitely worked a lot harder this pre-season and over the past four months. With the way Ange wants us to play, we need to be fit and you can see already, when I was away with the Socceroos and came back, to see that improvement in the space of a couple of weeks," he said.

"The guys are flying and we are just excited to get the season started and show the supporters what we've learned in the last three months.

"That's attractive football, and hopefully it will win us matches and win finals."