Muscat turns attention to Mariners clash

Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat has highlighted his delight at signing a contract extension with the club, but insisted that his focus has immediately shifted to Sunday's match against Central Coast.

It was announced that Muscat had extended his tenure at the club for a further two years on Thursday.

Following Tuesday night’s late winner against Kawasaki Frontale in the Asian Champions League, Muscat and the squad are now focused on their domestic form.

With Carl Valeri and Matias Sanchez well rested and available for Sunday, Victory's boss now has an abundance of options in midfield, but gave no hints on who will start.

 

On extending his contract…

“I’m honoured to remain at Melbourne Victory. It’s a great football club and to be a part of it is very pleasing.

“Looking forward, there is work to do. But the focus is on the here and now. We are in an exciting position where we can have a say on both competitions we are in and we look forward to that challenge.”

On the future of Melbourne Victory…

“We’ve enjoyed some really good times at this football club and now I have the opportunity to reproduce those good times and bring silverware to the football club. Unfortunately, there’s nine other clubs with the same mentality, but we’re doing our upmost to bring back the good times.

“You’re always looking to evolve. You’re always looking to gain an edge and to get better. We are always analysing ourselves and finding ways to get better. We kill keep doing that and look forward to the future.”

On this season so far…

“It’s not finished and there’s still a lot to play for. At this moment, we’re still alive in the Champions League and our destiny is in our own hands. We’ve still got a lot to play for in the A-League, so we will wait and see how this season pans out.

“We’ve been very good in recent weeks and our performance on Tuesday night was one of those nights.”

On Victory’s current form…

“We’ve adjusted things and done a few things differently in terms of structure. The performances have been good and let’s not forget, we lost two players in the January window as well. There has been a lot of challenges thrown at the group and we’ve certainly answered those challenges.

“Over the next three weeks, we have three games in Australia with two in Melbourne. The other is in Perth and we look forward to tackling those.”

On Champions League performances…

“Hopefully we can translate our form into the A-league, but it is a different team and a different competition. The Champions League will now be forgotten for three weeks. We have a real purpose about us and we have much to play for in the A-League.

“Rather than dwelling on the negative side of it, the Champions League gives us an opportunity to work on things and spend time together. We’re playing more games and are becoming more match-conditioned.”

On Besart Berisha…

“I have a very good relationship with Bes and that remains. He is a very competitive individual and to be honest, I’ve never met anyone who has been happy with being substituted.”

On Central Coast Mariners…

“It will be a tough game for us. We’ve had two draws against them this season. They’ve certainly got some threats of their own, especially when they win the ball back and transition with pace in attacking areas.”

On Sunday’s starting eleven…

“Carl Valeri and Matias Sanchez are now available, but we will make those decisions closer to the game. With a short turnaround, we will give players the maximum time required to recover and take it from there.

“We need to control what we do to the best of our ability. We’ve had five days to prepare and we are looking forward to focusing on the A-League.”