Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says it’s unusual for the Big V to be flying under the Hyundai A-League radar – nonetheless he’s happy with his team’s progress heading into Round 9.
The top two sides on the ladder, Sydney FC and Melbourne City, have been garnering most of the media attention this season.
The Sky Blues for their unbeaten streak and City for their star-studded squad, including Tim Cahill. Not to mention the Westfield FFA Cup Final played in Melbourne barely 12 hours earlier.
It is an unusual situation for Victory, a genuine A-League powerhouse, to be in the shadows.
But the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League championship winners have been ticking along nicely in the last month and sit in third spot.
They’ve won their last two without conceding and could move into second if they win on Friday night in Round 9, potentially leapfrogging City before their Saturday night clash with Roar.
“That’s the first time that’s ever been levelled at this football club,” Muscat told reporters on Thursday when asked if the club was flying under the spotlight.
“We’re comfortable and I’ve maintained our performances have been very good.
“But if we had to sit in review of the season we’d be disappointed in letting some points slip.
“We’re comfortable and we’re steadily improving and getting to a position where we’ve got a settled squad so that hasn’t happened in the first part of season.
“But we’re comfortable and we believe we still have improvement in us.”
Attention turns to Victory who face Perth Glory on Harvey Norman Friday Night Football at AAMI Park.
In Victory team news, livewire winger Mitch Austin will miss the next couple of weeks with an ankle injury.
Defender Daniel Georgievski is expected to be available, said Muscat, after Leigh Broxham has deputised in his absence at left back.
Geraman striker Maxi Beister continues to build his fitness after a long time out of regular first team football, while keeper Lawrence Thomas “is tracking well” after replacement keeper Matt Acton’s impressive debut and clean sheet last week against the Jets.
As for the Westfield FFA Cup Final, Muscat was muted in his praise for his cross-town rivals after their trophy triumph over Sydney FC on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t come along [to the final]. Busy preparing for tomorrow night Obviously congratulations to the winners and we’ll worry about tomorrow night,” he said when asked.