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Muscat: Win was for the fans

Sunday, 23 December 2012 9:42 AM
 
 

Muscat: Win was for the fans

Melbourne Victory assistant coach Kevin Muscat said the thrilling derby victory over Melbourne Heart was for their loyal fans.

Victory snared all three points at AAMI Park on Saturday night in a 2-1 triumph, with Archie Thompson's last-gasp goal sending the blue-and-white faithful into a frenzy.

And former Victory skipper Muscat said while the win would be valuable to the club's finals aspirations, he said he was simply happy to provide the second derby win for their supporters.

"If you're outside at the end of the game there, I think everyone will appreciate what our fans do for the competition. Again, they were second-to-none," Muscat said.

"(Our fans are) still the benchmark, without a doubt. (They) created an atmosphere here for us today ... on paper it's an away game for us, but it certainly felt like a home one.

"Today's more about sending them home happy, it'll be a nice Christmas for our fans."

For the players and coaches, though, Muscat said it was priceless points in the race for a top-two spot.

"From our perspective, we've caught three points on Adelaide, and two points on Central Coast. That's how we'll analyse the game tomorrow, and try to keep tabs on those top two," he said.

In regards to Thompson's contentious late goal, which appeared to cross the line only just on television replays, Muscat said the Victory players closest to the goal-line thought it was over.

"From where I was sitting, I wasn't too sure to be honest. But the linesman seemed to be in a decent enough position to make the call, and our players that were around the ball said it did cross the line," he said.

When asked what the win meant for Victory, Muscat replied that belief was spawn from the results of their labour, and relying on their structures to eventually produce.

"From our perspective, looking at our structure, passing through them lines, and then you ask me about the belief, well Archie Thompson makes a 70-yard run to get on the end of that ball from Marco Rojas ... the fact that that happens in the end, tells me that they do believe," Muscat said.

"We believe that when we do get it right, and at times tonight we got it spot on, we'll break any team down.

"And the goal was testimony to that, the fact that we played through them lines, albeit it was a counter-attack – call it what you like – but that structure was still there, and we ended up getting a goal from it."

Muscat also confirmed the half-time substitution of Diogo Ferreira was due to a groin injury, adding the right-back would be assessed on Sunday, ahead of their clash with Newcastle Jets on Friday.

 
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