Muscat takes rap for woeful Victory
Photo Source: AAP
Melbourne Victory Kevin Muscat isn't naming names, but has labelled his A-League side's showing in the Melbourne derby as embarrassing.
Victory were missing from the first whistle against Melbourne City on Saturday night, falling 4-1 to their cross-town rivals.
Muscat said he was disappointed and his players were devastated by the result, which leaves Victory winless after two rounds.
Fiercely loyal to his players, Muscat wasn't interested in singling out guilty parties for the heavy loss - their first defeat at Etihad Stadium in 14 matches dating back to Australia Day 2014.
But several key men lowered their colours on a dark night for the club.
Marquee midfielder Oliver Bozanic completed just five passes before being hauled off before the hour mark.
Full-backs Jason Geria and Daniel Georgievski were tortured by City wingers Nicolas Colazo and Bruce Kamau, while Alan Baro lost track of Bruno Fornaroli a little too easily for City's second goal.
Marco Rojas scored, but otherwise struggled for influence in a forward line with Besart Berisha and Mitch Austin.
Muscat said the only person that should be singled out was him.
"I'm not going to sit here and name individuals ... it's not what I do," he said.
"It would be pretty harsh and unfair.
"I don't want it turning into a witch hunt.
"If you want to highlight someone then go for your life but we won't be doing that. We'll be sticking together."
The positive came from 16-year-old debutant Seb Pasquali, who Muscat praised as "oustanding" in a 15-minute cameo.
"It's amazing because he adheres to structure, technically he's very good. He receives the ball in dangerous areas," he said.
"He got us back in a little bit of ascendancy."
Another fierce challenge awaits next weekend - a trip to the home of the champions, and Victory's fierce rivals, Adelaide United.
Muscat said there would be players could feel sorry for themselves on Sunday, but no longer.
"Its so far from our normal standard is that I'd suggest there's no reason to panic," he said.
"That's a big knock to the jaw tonight. Everyone involved will take a day to get over that but I won't have anyone coming back into work on Monday thinking about what's gone on.
"We'll be looking forward. I don't think it will be too difficult to improve on that performance tonight.
"What we've seen tonight won't happen again. It can't happen again."