Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat remains confident the club can turn around its recent form, starting with a good result against Adelaide United on Saturday night.
It was business as usual for Muscat and his men this morning who attended a reasonably light training session, having arrived back from China on Thursday afternoon.
Both meetings with Adelaide this season have been close affairs, with the last encounter ending in defeat for Victory at Etihad Stadium, 2-1.
The next instalment in the Original Rivalry series promises to be another ‘scrappy game’, with fourth place at stake. Adelaide sit only three points and one goal above Victory on the ladder, meaning a home win would see the sides swap places.
To change Victory’s fortunes, Muscat is relying on a strong response from his squad in Saturday's match.
On Victory’s recent form…
“We’re not overly satisfied with our performances for the entirety of games. We thought we’d be in a better position than we are now. It will be a decent crowd here tomorrow night and the players need the fans to support them and get behind them.
“There’s still seven games to go and we could be fourth by tomorrow night.”
On tomorrow’s starting XI…
“From an injury perspective, everyone was fine. We’ll spend some time training today and have a chat after lunch, which will give me some food for thought on picking the best possible team to get a result.
"Matty [Sanchez] and Cam McGilp were back here, so there were a few training. With Matty, we will assess the group throughout the day and see who is fine.”
“There’s a lot of facts that I could bring up, but the reality is that it’s a game of football that we want to win. What we do know is that it will be a scrap and our last two games against them this season were exactly that.”
WATCH: Kevin Muscat's press conference
On recovering from the China trip…
“We landed in Melbourne at 3pm [on Thursday] and were home by five or six in the afternoon. This morning wasn’t too much, but there will be a few players that do a little bit more, based on their efforts over the last few weeks and then we will get stuck into Adelaide.”
On defeat in Shanghai…
“They are an outstanding team with some outstanding individuals. Summarising the game, there wasn’t a point where we were outplayed. With the budget of 300-odd million you’d expect a decent team and that was the case.
"On the night, we didn’t stop them enough. If you look at Oscar, he was probably the difference in the game, but for long periods we did okay against him. Oscar gets moments in games where he shows his true qualities.”