Muscat unhappy at ‘stop-start’ Roar

Kevin Muscat has issued a thinly veiled criticism of Brisbane Roar’s perceived time-wasting tactics in their 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory on Friday.

A Jade North own goal decided a forgettable contest at Etihad Stadium, where a stop-start game failed to hit the heights that might have been expected from two talented sides.

The Victory coach questioned whether or not the visitors from Queensland – the reigning champions but with just one win from five matches played going into this game – deliberately attempted to disrupt the home team’s rhythm as they desperately seek to get their title defence back on track. 

“There was no momentum in the game, no-one was allowed to create any momentum,” he said.

“During the first half the stoppages to take free-kicks were excruciatingly long. I almost got bored at times. In the second half, when a team scores a goal, all of a sudden you have to hurry up.

“I’m going to have get that clarified. Because at 0-0 apparently you can take as long as you like on free-kicks and slow the game down. We’ll have to look at it.

“I don’t know if they were time-wasting but it seemed like a long time to me, you must have felt the same.”

The poor fare on display on Friday now has the Victory boss eager for the visit of swashbuckling Adelaide United to AAMI Park next week.

“I think you’ll see a different team when Adelaide comes to town,” Muscat said.

“They’ll want to play. They’ll get the ball down and want to play. It’ll be a really good affair, two teams not taking a backwards step.”

Victory missed several good opportunities to take the lead in the first half, Leigh Broxham and Besart Berisha both going close, with Muscat regretting the fact his team were unable to take those chances.

“It’s a shame a goal didn’t come earlier in the game,” he said.

“If we’d have got one in the first half it would have been a different affair.

“I can’t pay credit to the team enough. The fact that we’ve found another way to win tonight. Under the circumstances that were put in front of us. Can we play better? Yes, of course we can. But we’ll certainly take that.”

The Victory coach, who cleared Mark Milligan of any potential damage from a bruised knee suffered on the stroke of half-time expects to have Nick Ansell and Jason Geria available next weekend, with Matthieu Delpierre an outside chance to be involved.