Muscat: Melbourne Victory won’t hold back against Red Devils

MELBOURNE Victory manager Kevin Muscat says his side won’t shy away from any matches this pre-season, including next Tuesday’s friendly against the Ballarat Red Devils.

BALLARAT-BOUND: Australian great Archie Thompson, pictured against Bayswater City in the FFA Cup on Wednesday, looks set to play for Melbourne Victory in a pre-season friendly against Ballarat Red Devils next Tuesday. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

BALLARAT-BOUND: Australian great Archie Thompson, pictured against Bayswater City in the FFA Cup on Wednesday, looks set to play for Melbourne Victory in a pre-season friendly against Ballarat Red Devils next Tuesday. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Muscat believes his blossoming outfit has plenty to play for and won’t hold back against the NPLV club on its home turf at Morshead Park.

“We’ll be taking it seriously – we didn’t pencil in any game just to get a run,” Muscat said.

“I don’t want to go wasting time out there and we’ll be going in the match with the aim of getting something tactically and technically out of it.”

The former Socceroo plans to unleash a full squad against the Red Devils, including the in-form Archie Thompson and Besart Berisha.

Muscat has strong ties with Red Devils player manager James Robinson, with the pair playing alongside each other for Victory during the mid 2000s.

“He still goes down in my memory as scoring the most important goal for the club,” Muscat said (referring to Robinson’s 93rd minute header against Adelaide United in 2007 to get Victory into their first A-League final).

Both sides will enter the match with clean bills of health and Robinson described the upcoming hit-out as a privileged “insight” for his players.

“This is going to be a fantastic insight to see what’s required to play at this level,” he said.

“We have a lot of younger players training with us and it’s a great opportunity to keep their match awareness sharp.

“I know I’ll be monitoring our players and using my full squad (because) the big thing for me is to keep 19 out of the 20 players fit.

“It will be good to get all the fans out for the game.”

Victory’s impending visit marks a frantic end of season for the Reds, who will play Werribee City and Bentleigh Greens on the Saturdays before and after the friendly.

michael.pollock@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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