Muscat praises his resilient Victory team

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Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat is happy his side could dig deep and hold on to a point with 10 men against Western Sydney Wanderers.

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Mitch Austin was sent off with a second yellow card midway through the first half while a Oriol Riera header meant a 1-0 deficit at half-time.

Victory got the equaliser through Thomas Deng to make it 1-1 and eventually took a hard-earned point.

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Muscat was particularly pleased for Deng who not only scored his first Hyundai A-League goal but performed considerably well to Muscat’s liking.

“I thought he was superb tonight and he’ll continue progressing I think he’s still got a lot in him,” he said.

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“He’s matured a hell of a lot as a footballer and as a person.”

“He’s come in and played three games now and you’re looking to younger players to find some consistency at a decent level.”

“His first three games have been outstanding and the challenge for him is to lift those standards and remain consistent.”

Muscat spoke about how Victory were able to cope well with the circumstances, adapting to the situation of being a man down for a large majority of the match.

“Going down to 10 men for such a long period, we had to pull something out against a good team,” Muscat said.

“I thought it was a great effort from the group.”

“We changed things at half-time because we had to get back in the game being behind, so we were a little more adventurous for the first 15-20 minutes how we wanted to press them and we gained a bit of ascendency even with a man down.”

“[We were] winning the ball in good areas, nice and compact and man for man at the back taking some risks.”

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Muscat believes Victory do have plenty of fight in them as he found out they won’t give up easily.

“It’s just knowing the group, the easy option is to just fall into your shell and think it’s not our night sit back and hope but I thought we had a go at them even with 10 men,” he said.

“Structurally we showed some real good discipline to give us a chance and got a deserved goal and in the end a deserved point.”

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Liam Watson
Liam Watson
Intern for Melbourne Victory and Media and Communications student at La Trobe University.

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