Muscat takes positives despite Sydney loss

Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat was pleased with his side’s second half performance, despite a 2-1 loss to Sydney FC at the SCG on Saturday.

A late Milos Ninkovic strike saw the home team take all three points, following a Brandon O’Neill opener early in the first half.

Victory replied in the 16th minute through Kosta Barbarouses, who scored his 50th goal for the club.

On the health of Terry Antonis…

I don’t know yet, I’d love to give you some news but he’s in a little bit of discomfort. It’s too difficult to assess him, he’s pretty emotional so we’ll let him settle down. I’m remaining positive.

On the contest…

To have both teams go out and perform to the level that they did, both teams and both sets of players should be commended because I thought it was a thrilling game of football, a couple of really good goals. In the first half we think Sydney pinned us in for long periods, and a couple of adjustments at half time turned the game on its head.

On the second half turnaround…

We were really hesitant in pressing, I think we were a little reactant. It was too easy for them to get balls outside us and led to us spending long periods of that first half in our own half. In the second half we were a little more adventurous in where we pressed and how high we pressed and it paid dividends for us. I thought it was a very good performance in the second half.

On the late goal…

It is what it is now from our perspective, we make a really poor decision for them to get down that left side. Then it’s a deflection off Carl, lands to Ninkovic, shot is deflected and it agonisingly falls in the far corner.

On Keisuke Honda…

He set up the goal for Kosta. In the conditions he played remarkably well. He was outstanding in possession and didn’t shirk his responsibilities defensively.

On Lawrence Thomas’ absence…

At training on Thursday he ended up stretching for a ball and injured his knee. He recovered really well but he wasn’t stable enough to take part today.