March 20, 2015 11:41:45 UK
Kevin Muscat says Melbourne Victory are determined not to lose their focus during the run-in to the end of the A-League season.
The Victory coach believes his side took their eye off the ball somewhat after January’s Asian Cup break, and it cost them.
They are in an excellent position to clinch the Premier’s Plate, sitting two points behind leaders Wellington Phoenix with a game in hand on all their rivals.
There’s a temptation for all the five clubs involved in the premiership race to keep an eye on all the results of the other contenders in what is sure to be a tight finish – the top five are separated by just three points.
Muscat, though, says his team’s approach is the age-old “one game at a time”.
“It’s easy to get caught up, at this time of the year, in the whole debate about who’s going to finish where on the final table,” Muscat said. “Then you’re taking your eye off the ball.
“We looked at ourselves in the initial weeks after the (Asian Cup) break as not concentrating as we would have liked.”
Victory are still without forward Kosta Barbarouses for Saturday’s trip to Adelaide United. The New Zealand international has a back problem that kept him out of last weekend’s win against Western Sydney Wanderers.
He has a chance of being fit ahead of next week’s home clash with Central Coast Mariners, but Victory aren’t sure whether he would be eligible.
New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson didn’t pick Barbarouses for his team’s trip to South Korea because he was injured, which may mean he can’t play against the Mariners.
Muscat is looking to bank points against Adelaide as he will have a number of players out through international duty when they take on Central Coast.
Mark Milligan has been called up by the Socceroos, Daniel Georgievski will be playing for Macedonia and Scott Galloway, Connor Pain and Jason Geria will be on duty with the Olyroos.
Victory are 3.20 to beat Adelaide, who are 2.15 with the draw 3.50.
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