Muscat looks to leaders

Melbourne Victory assistant coach Kevin Muscat has backed the club's on field leaders to guide them back to winning ways, starting with Sunday's trip to Wellington to play the Phoenix.

Melbourne Victory assistant coach Kevin Muscat has backed the club's on field leaders to guide them back to winning ways, starting with Sunday's trip to Wellington to play the Phoenix.

Victory may be winless after the first three games, but Muscat, who admits that the results so far have been below par, thinks there is enough belief within the playing group to turn things around.

"You look through the team. How do you define leadership? You want to define it by games, in times like this, naturally people start looking for where to point the finger and that will continue until we improve our performances and start getting some runs on the board, scoring some goals and getting some points," he said.

"Pressure from within is the most important thing and individuals, coaching staff, put themselves under pressure to perform week in, week out. The fact that we've gone three games without a win and without scoring goals, we are putting ourselves under pressure to improve."

Muscat believes a lack of confidence, borne out of frustration with the current run of results and the public expectation that they would be the team to beat this season, is behind the underwhelming start.

"You have to keep encouraging self-belief. All of a sudden, the players have not become ordinary overnight," he said.

"We were built up to dominate the competition, and that didn't come from within, but that builds up."

"It's a matter of getting back to what we are good at as individuals and as a football team. We have to be working a lot harder for each other, trying to retain possession and keep movement going."

Retaining possession and getting more movement off the ball are the two key elements of coach Mehmet Durakovic's path to success, Muscat said.

"I can't exactly put my finger on exactly what it is, but I've mentioned a few already," Muscat said when asked to diagnose what he thought the technical issues were.

"We've gone out there and as you rightly say, and you've written in your articles in the last few days, it looked disjointed and we looked out of shape."

"We've got to improve on a numbers of things that I've mentioned and confidence grows with that. We've got big enough characters in the change room to stand up and put in a performance which is worthy of this football club."