Muscat: Past glory irrelevent
Melbourne Victory skipper Kevin Muscat doesn't want to hear about the club's past two Hyundai A-League grand final triumphs as he prepares for Saturday night's premiership decider against Sydney FC at Etihad Stadium.
Melbourne Victory skipper Kevin Muscat does not want to hear about the club's past two Hyundai A-League grand final triumphs as he prepares for Saturday night's premiership decider against Sydney FC at Etihad Stadium.
Melbourne is aiming to become the first club to win back-to-back titles following last year's 1-0 win over Adelaide - and the first to win three titles overall following its memorable 6-0 win over Adelaide in the 2006/07 grand final.
Both of those championship wins also came on home soil and with another 50,000 sell-out crowd expected to pack Docklands on Saturday night, Melbourne is heading into its first grand final meeting against its fiercest rivals as firm favourites.
However Muscat warned on grand final eve that just because the Victory had won its previous two premiership deciders, a third one would not automatically follow against different opposition.
"What has happened in the past is history and we don-t get the chance to celebrate them (the other two grand final wins) again so tomorrow night's encounter is the only one that means anything," Muscat said on Friday.
"We won the other two grand finals in Melbourne and they were great and we have got a great deal of pride in what has happened (in the past) and this city is very proud of what it has achieved in sport, especially in recent years."
"But there is only one thing that matters now and that is going out to perform at our best tomorrow night and the result will look after itself."
However while Muscat said the Victory's past grand final triumphs on home soil would not necessarily guarantee another championship win on Saturday night, he does believe their greater grand final experience compared to Sydney will hold them in good stead.
While Melbourne is appearing in its third grand final in four seasons, Sydney is appearing in its first in four years having not played in a premiership decider since winning the inaugural A-League grand final against Central Coast in 2005/06.
"In terms of preparing for the week it (Melbourne's greater grand final experience) does help,' he said.
"There are not too many boys in our squad that haven-t played in a grand final and you are not human if you don't feel a few nerves during the week so that is where it does help."
"You have been there before and you know what has worked and what hasn-t worked so you can prepare as best you can so I have no doubt being there before does help in some capacity."