Melbourne Victory slumped to their third to defeat of the season losing 4-1 to Newcastle Jets on Thursday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Victory had hoped to build on their first away win of the season last time out against Perth Glory and were optimistic early after a Kosta Barbarouses thunderbolt that will undoubtedly be a goal of the season contender gave them the lead just five minutes in.

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That is about where the positivity ended for Victory however as Newcastle leveled things up just eight minutes later before a brain explosion from Mark Milligan saw them reduced to 10 men.

What followed was a mauling as Newcastle went on to score three more goals and finish the night with 25 shots on goal to Victory’s two.

Coach Kevin Muscat was not fiery or in the mood for excuses post-match but rather looked a man short of ideas in getting his side out of their slump.

“Tonight was compounded by ourselves,” Muscat said.

“We didn’t really give ourselves a chance after being so bright and so sharp early on.”

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It may prove to be a hugely damaging result to the side particularly after claiming a victory against Perth they would’ve hoped could kick-start their season.

The manner of the loss is what will hurt the most. Playing with 10 men can be a valid reason for a side not winning but the way they folded in the second half shows how short this Victory team is of confidence.

“Tonight has been a contrast to our last game,” Muscat said.

“This season has been more about what you’ve seen tonight than what you saw on Sunday albeit it was compounded this evening after playing with 10 men following a five day turnaround from Perth.”

“But these are not excuses because we were nowhere near good enough and it was self inflicted so we have to take responsibility for that.”

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Whether Victory do take responsibility and pick up their form is a matter for the next few games, the first of which comes away at Wellington Phoenix next Sunday.

If they are to turn their season around it must start soon. Bouncing back from such a demoralizing defeat will require the character and fight we’ve seen from Muscat’s sides in the past.

If not the only direction Victory will be moving along the ladder is down.

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Living and studying in Newcastle. Pretty obsessed with football. Newcastle Jets and Chelsea FC fan