Rested Victory vow to attack in Melbourne Derby

Victory coach Kevin Muscat is not concerned by his team’s three-game losing streak, vowing his team will maintain their attack at all cost philosophy against City in the Melbourne Derby on Saturday night at Etihad.

Following a run of six wins Victory have lost their last three games, including the Australia Day Big Blue at the same venue. 

Amid a taxing travel schedule they have lost ground in the Premiership race, with Sydney FC now 11 points clear of the Big V in second spot. 

Muscat conceded his side had struggled to deal with playing four games in a fortnight, including trips to Perth and Wellington, but he expected a vastly improved performance now that they’ve had a regular week to prepare for this derby with fourth-placed City.

“I commend the group on how they really attacked that period where we had quite a bit of travel,” Muscat told reporters on Friday.

“The reality is we were disadvantaged against our opponents and we were placed in that position.

“But that’s life, we took that challenge on and we move forward now.

“We’ve had a clean week, we could get some normality back into training where we could work hard and we look forward to tomorrow night.”

Hyundai A-League preview: Victory v City

Bragging rights are on the line as Victory play host to City in Saturday night's Melbourne Derby.

Those sentiments were echoed by in-form midfielder James Troisi, who is backing Victory to get back to their goal scoring best at a venue where they’ve not lost consecutive matches since November 2005.

“It was a pretty difficult couple of weeks. We’ve had a normal week coming into this game on Saturday, so we’re looking forward to it,” he told reporters.

“I think the most important thing is the football we’ve been playing the last two games.

“We definitely should have got points out of those games, so we’re playing some good football and we’re in a good way at the moment.

“So we’re looking to rectify, I guess, the points we haven’t picked up.”

Victory will take confidence out of the fact they had City’s measure the last time these sides met in December, although their cross-town rivals claimed a resounding 4-1 triumph in their last meeting at Etihad in Round 2.

#MelbDerby - Victory star Besart Berisha has scored 10 goals in his last 12 Hyundai A-League games against Melbourne City, including seven goals in his last eight.

With eight goals coming across those two fixtures it seems likely fans are in for another goal fest. 

“Naturally our intent is to attack because it’s our style of play,” said Muscat.

“We haven’t been defending badly; we’ve been making some bad decisions and errors.

“We’ll work on the way we attack teams, certainly that’s the philosophy of this football club.

“The best defence is to go out and attack teams and it will be no different tomorrow night.”

One man that is likely to feature heavily on that front is Victory talisman Besart Berisha, who has netted seven goals in his last eight Melbourne derbies.

The Victory marquee has pledged to put on a show of his own on Saturday night, according to Muscat, as a Bruce Springsteen concert is taking place at AAMI Park.

Muscate joked: “Bes reckons there’s only one boss at AAMI!”