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Newcastle JetsNewcastle Jets
Melbourne VictoryMelbourne Victory
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No relationship issues with Besart Berisha insists Kevin Muscat

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says his relationship with Besart Berisha remains intact despite the fiery striker's antics in Tuesday night's AFC Champions League match.

Clearly furious at being substituted, Berisha gesticulated wildly and launched a tirade as he left the pitch at AAMI Park.

The Albanian sparked speculation of a rift with his coach when he stormed past Muscat to take his place on the bench late in the upset 1-0 win over J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale.

Muscat made a pointed remark about football being a team game in post-match interview, but the coach used a more conciliatory tone to reporters on Friday.

"Besart is an unbelievably competitive person ... he was obviously disappointed in coming off and because of the passion and drive that he's got sometimes it can spill over," Muscat said.

"Bes is a winner, he's an unbelievably driven character. He was disappointed with being substituted, but I haven't met anyone yet who is pleased.

Kevin Muscat & Besart Berisha
Besart Berisha, right, was not impressed with being substituted in the Victory's 1-0 ACL win over Kawasaki Frontale.

"I've got a very good relationship with Bes and it remains intact.

"It's done, it's dusted, it's gone -- my relationship with Bes has been, and is, very good."

Muscat, who signed a new two-year contract with the Victory this week, has turned his attention to the A-League after a successful run of Champions League games.

Fourth-placed Victory host the ninth-placed Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park on Sunday and will likely welcome back skipper Carl Valeri and Argentine midfielder Matias Sanchez.

"It will be a tough game for us ... we've had two draws against them this season," Muscat said.

"They've certainly got some threats, especially in those moments when they win the ball back in transition, with some pace in attacking areas.

"We're at home though so it's about controlling what we do ... we'll be ready to go."


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