Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat.
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat. JOE CASTRO

Victory players out to impress in FFA Cup

FOOTBALL: Kevin Muscat will use tomorrow night's FFA Cup quarter-final as a chance to check out his players' form ahead of the A-League opener with the Brisbane Roar on October 7.

Melbourne Victory visits NPL side Bentleigh Greens and it will be the last chance for Muscat's squad to impress ahead of the Roar clash.

Although the former Socceroo said he had a fair idea of who would make that squad, the Victory coach said things could change.

"No doubt you'll have plans, in terms of the way you want to play and what players will fit into that structure best, but ultimately - I always say - the final decision, the players determine who's playing,” Muscat told reporters.

"Ultimately, we pick a team but the players decide that based on their performances and our understanding of what we're trying to do.”

With the A-League season to start in 10 days, Muscat said he had noticed a change in atmosphere in training.

"It's been tense in the last couple of days and it's expected as well because, you know, the playing group have put in almost 12 weeks of work and they sense that the games are going to start and everyone wants to be included,” he said.

"So the intensity and the tension have increased dramatically.”

FFA Cup champion Victory has a full-strength squad for tomorrow night's game and has had some impressive pre-season form, winning six matches in a row.

The Greens, meanwhile, after taking the NPL Victoria minor premiership, were eliminated in the semi-finals by Oakleigh Cannons, before also bowing out of the National Premier Leagues national finals to Edgeworth FC.

Muscat, though, was still wary of John Anastasiadis's team.

"We go up against a team that's well organised and well coached, and from our perspective, our attitude's got to be right,” he said.

"We're going to have to perform well to reward ourselves with a win.”

Canberra Olympic will take on Green Gully in the other quarter-final tomorrow night at Deakin Stadium in Canberra.



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