Muscat upbeat after Victory’s slim defeat

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat found positives in an “outstanding” second half despite his team’s premiership challenge coming to an end in a 1-0 defeat to Brisbane Roar.

The visitors needed to win at Suncorp Stadium to keep the Premiers Plate alive but were brought undone by a lone Jamie Maclaren goal shortly after the restart.

Roar edge under-strength Victory at Suncorp

“We asked the players to be brave and there were instances where we were brave and we passed it out and we played through [Roar] with relative ease,” Muscat told Fox Sports.

“In the second half we changed things a little bit and it was one-way traffic. I thought we were outstanding.

“It’s not very often you concede a goal when the opposition only has one player in your half but we managed to do that tonight.

“But I’m really pleased. In the second half there was one team in it.”

The absence of star trio Besart Berisha, James Troisi and Marco Rojas afforded rare starts for young pair George Howard and Stefan Nigro, while Christian Theoharous and Cameron McGilp were handed debuts off the bench.

Muscat saw enough to consider the cameos a success.

“They’re progressing. Cam [McGilp] came on and he had some composure when he got the ball,” the Victory boss said.

“They’re doing okay and we’ll see how they go in the future.”