Kevin Muscat points out gnawing issues in Melbourne Victory side

-

Melbourne Victory’s poor showing in their 3-1 defeat to Daegu FC in their AFC Champions League opener was down to a lack of urgency and finishing, said head coach Kevin Muscat at Tuesday’s post match press conference.

“The key (takeaway) tonight for us is that we need to be more desperate, clinical in our box,” said Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

“We created a number of chances … we need to start taking more of those. It’s a lot of football to be played but we dominated for long periods in the first half and created some good openings but it wasn’t meant to be.

“We weren’t outplayed, it goes to 3-1 (in the second half), obviously it’s a big mountain to climb (in the AFC Champions League) but it’s an opportunity missed,” said Muscat.

Victory enjoyed a 63.7% posession throughout the game, and were absolutely running the show in the first half. Daegu emerged from the break the hungrier side, and were rewarded with two quickfire goals. The home aide completed 710 passes, compared to Daegu’s 396, but had the same amount of shots on target – 4.

It has been five games since Victory has not won a competitive game, the longest run this season. But Muscat reasoned that there were positives as well.

“If you look at the buildup, collectively the team earned that goal,” Muscat said.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

“From our perspective it was a goal off our training pitch which was pleasing and the execution was very good.

“We’ll pick ourselves up, analyse that performance, and go again. We’ll go to Japan, prepare well, roll our sleeves up and have a go,” Muscat said.

James Donachie did not have the best of games against Daegu, his sub-par performance punctuated by poor touches and positioning errors. The centre back explained that there was much room for improvement, and still remains hopeful in this year’s AFC Champions League.

“I think in the second half we opened up too much, didn’t defend too much and we got hurt. We had our chances, we could’ve taken them, and we could’ve minimised theirs,” Donachie said.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

“They took their chances and the better teams will do that so we got to be better defensively.

“I think if we get our boys rested up, have a good trip there (Japan), then we have every chance. We’ve got a squad this year that can compete over there,” Donachie said.

Andre: We knew it was not going to be easy

Brazilian Andre has masterminded the club’s first AFC Champions League win in their history, in their inaugural participation in the continental competition. He details how his squad overcame an initial 1-0 deficit to fight back to win 3-1.

“We knew it was not going to be easy … today’s game against an experienced Victory, our players were a bit worried before the game,” Andre said.

“Hence, at the start of the game it was difficult, all of the players were overwhelmed, therefore we made some silly mistakes, and we allowed Victory to counter attack.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

“But throughout the game until the end, everybody regained confidence and that’s how we came out with a good result.”

The 46-year-old also lauded praise on the 200 odd Daegu fans who made the trip to Melbourne, and those following the team back home.

“I was very impressed at the number of fans who came to support our team, based on their energy and support, our teams were able to run even more on the pitch. I also believe that there are other fans at home watching TV, supporting us,” Andre said.

Cesinha was capped as the man of the match, with his excellent performance as the club’s striker, scoring once and assisting the other two goals. While not an irritable presence in large parts of the game, the former Corinthians and Atlético Mineiro striker turned up with the goods with his keen eye for goal and his ability to create attacking opportunities in wide areas as well.

“If you know me as a player, I do take lots of shots outside the box,” Cesinha spoke via a translator.

“I do train a lot and today I scored an amazing goal. This is an outcome of my training.

“I’m happy not because of my goal, but because I helped the team get the 3 points,” Cesinha said.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Ngau Kai Yan
Ngau Kai Yanhttp://ngaukaiyan.com
Journalism undergrad at Monash University, Kai is a multimedia journalist covering Melbourne Victory. Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Once "stole" Shinji Kagawa's plane ticket.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required