Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has refused to criticise young goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas after his error in Friday’s 3-1 win over Central Coast.
Muscat sought to shift the focus away from Thomas after he, promoted in place of the error-prone Nathan Coe last weekend, made a costly mistake, failing to clear a routine free-kick and allowing Zach Anderson to equalise for the Mariners.
"People will point to Lawrence for making a mistake for the goal, but from my perspective he's made a decision to come for a cross. So I'm not going to crucify him for that," he said.
"His decision to come for the cross was correct. Then he's makes a skill-based error. Other players made skill-based errors tonight as well.
“Having said that, Zach Anderson ... he was in five yards of space. I certainly am not going to look at one individual."
Victory now have just a handful of days to prepare for the visit of K-League heavyweights Jeonbuk Motors to Etihad Stadium on Wednesday in the AFC Champions League and with no room for error after going down 4-2 away to Guangzhou Evergrande in their first group stage game two weeks ago.
"They're a good team," he said.
"It's exciting, playing in it (the AFC Champions League). It makes life so much harder. That's just a fact.
“It makes life so much harder playing these games, because you're playing against very good opposition.
“More times than most you're having to travel but it's exciting. I think we should embrace it.
"The first 45 minutes, the first half against Guangzhou was the best football I've seen this tea play for a long, long time, if not the best football we've played.
"Putting yourself up against different opposition, you learn different lessons. Albeit it's difficult on the body and mind, the players are getting great experience from that and great lessons. I'm looking forward to it."
According to the Victory coach, Mark Milligan and Tom Rogic returned from mid-week Australia duty with no ill-effects following Socceroos duty, while Adama Traore will be monitored ahead of the Jeonbuk game after he was a late withdrawal from Friday's clash due to a knee issue.2 comments