Kevin Muscat has challenged his players to write their names into Melbourne Victory’s history books after watching them defeat Adelaide United in the club’s 10-year anniversary match.
Supporters were treated to a video montage of the heavyweight club’s proudest moments at AAMI Park on Friday night, where several retired fan favourites helped to form a guard of honour for the current players.
A hard-fought 3-2 win over their fierce rivals means Victory are now just one of two teams still unbeaten this season and sit top of the table ahead of second-placed Perth Glory’s match away to Brisbane Roar on Saturday.
Muscat, a club stalwart as a player and now coach, commended the celebrations of the navy blue and whites’ proud traditions, and wants his players to emulate the achievements of their decorated predecessors.
“It’s important that we acknowledge our past,” he said.
“We’ve got a rich history and we’re pretty proud of that.
“The challenge for the current group is to be part of history in a decade’s time or two decade’s time. We’ve got an opportunity to create our own history, to write the history from here on in.”
Victory made a flying start against the Reds, forcing two own goals and adding a third strike to lead 3-1 within 35 minutes.
Although there were no goals after the break, it remained an entertaining, high-tempo contest, with the quality of football drawing praise from the home team’s coach.
“I thought our first half of football was as intense football as this country’s seen in terms of pressing and attacking with real intent and creating chances,” Muscat said.
“I couldn’t be more pleased for the group.
“It would have been easier for us to drop off and try and defend the lead, but it’s not in our nature
“We couldn’t find that composure that was needed to get that fourth … to finish and kill the game off.”
The only concerns for Victory will be an injury suffered by Brazilian playmaker Guilherme Finkler, who was subbed off with a groin problem in the second half, while fullback Scott Galloway also limped off.