Melbourne Victory are expecting a strong performance from Sydney FC in Sunday’s A-League clash.
Kevin Muscat has ruffled a few feathers in his time but the Melbourne Victory coach has been playing the diplomat over the A-League club’s signing of Brisbane Roar striker Besart Berisha.
As the Victory prepare to host Sydney FC in Sunday’s clash at Etihad Stadium, Roar coach Mike Mulvey has had a pop at the Victory following the Roar’s 2-1 win over Wellington on Friday night.
Mulvey said the Victory showed a lack of respect with the way they trumpeted Berisha’s two-year marquee signing barely 48 hours before the game.
“We had a game to prepare for on Friday and I don’t think there was much respect shown to us,” he said.
“We would have preferred for them to wait until Saturday morning but it is what it is.
“I have no qualms with Besart’s decision.”
Berisha will join the Victory in 2014/15 and the following season.
The Victory have been boosted by the buzz around playmaker Tom Rogic, who is set to make his debut for the Victory on loan from Scottish club Celtic.
The 21-year-old former Central Coast Mariner has struggled for game time at Celtic and may start on the bench on Sunday, Muscat says.
The Victory will be without Mitch Nichols, who’s heading to Japan and skipper Mark Milligan who has had knee surgery. An offer reportedly worth $1.6 million from UAE club Baniyas for Milligan has been withdrawn.
Coming off a 5-0 thrashing from Wellington Phoenix, Muscat was in no mood to stir up trouble at Friday’s news conference.
“It has been a busy period,” Muscat said.
“Looking from the outside, other codes look at it as being pretty crazy but it’s just the nature of our sport.
“I hope you understand I’m going to respect Brisbane Roar and Besart himself and say everything we’re going to say about the matter has already been said in the statement and I suppose it will all be said at the end of the campaign.”
Scott Galloway, Nick Ansell, Jason Geria and Connor Pain are back in the Victory’s squad after Olyroos’ duties in Dubai.
Muscat said Rogic was a very talented player.
“We’ve got to be mindful as well he hasn’t played too much football (lately) so we’ve got respect his body,” Muscat said