Muscat downplays Suncorp disappointment

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has urged his players not to be downbeat despite coughing up a late lead in Friday’s 1-1 draw away to Brisbane Roar.

The visitors looked certain for a perfect start to the season when Mitch Austin lashed home an 83rd minute opener, but Luke DeVere’s last-gasp equaliser denied Victory a hard-earned three points.

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“They will be (disappointed), of course they will be, but I won’t allow it. I’m pleased with the performance,” Muscat said.

“The goal at the end, there’s a couple of contests, you compete for the ball and it just loops into the back corner. What do you do?

“I thought we were very good value.”

Victory debutants James Donachie and Alan Baro formed a promising partnership at the back while Muscat also handed the returning James Troisi a start in midfield.

However, it was a fit Carl Valeri who seemed set to make the biggest impact on the club’s title hopes.

“He brings a lot calmness to us when we haven’t got the ball,” Muscat said of the veteran midfielder.

“He’s obviously very tactically astute, he controls people around him.

“It’s like we’ve signed a new player with him being available this season.”