Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says final positions on the A-League table could come down to moments such as the one which landed his side a last-gasp win over Perth Glory on Saturday night.
Victory snatched 2-1 win over Glory at nib Stadium after veteran striker Archie Thompson scored in the 90th minute to seal the three points for the visitors and lift Muscat’s side to second on the table with four rounds to play.
“This time of year is where teams are starting to get desperate for different reasons and different positions on the table are being played for,” Muscat said.
“It’s cut-throat football and every game from here is going to be a difficult one.
“I couldn’t be happier for the boys tonight because we hung in there, we kept working, the desire to go on and get the winning goal was there and it was certainly evident with the second-oldest player on the park making a forward run in the 90th minute to get himself his rewards.”
Victory has won four of its past five A-League matches and looms as serious contender for the championship.
However, the two-time champions must balance A-League duties with a push for glory in the Asian Champions League.
Victory will play Yokohama F. Marinos at AAMI Park on Tuesday night in what will be the club’s fourth game in 12 days.
Thompson, Pablo Contreras, James Troisi and Gui Finkler did not play against Jeonbuk Motors last Wednesday and could again be among those rotated over the next batch of games.
Muscat said he was likely to continue rotating his squad over the coming weeks to cope with the heavy workload, but he insisted the team’s hectic schedule was not a concern despite several players at times looking sluggish against Glory.
“I didn’t think it was a particularly good game, if I’m honest. It was so stop-start and we tried to build some momentum and some speed into the game but we just kept getting stopped every time,” Muscat said.
“They made it difficult for us tonight, so it was testament that we persisted and persisted, and eventually created a good opportunity through a good bit of football and scored a good goal.”