EXCLUSIVE: Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson says it is business as usual ahead of Kevin Muscat’s first game as head coach.
Muscat was announced as the new Victory boss on Thursday and will be pulling the strings from the sidelines against Wellington Phoenix at Etihad Stadium on Monday.
Despite Ange Postecoglou departing for the Socceroos just 18 months into the job at Victory, Thompson doesn't expect anything to change under the team's former skipper.
“It was a huge loss for our club to lose Ange, but it's a gain for Australian football and for the national team,” the veteran striker said.
“After 18 months of where the club was, and to where it is now, it's a big difference. So why would you want to change that? We want to keep evolving.
“He's moulded Muscat over the last 18 months and Muscat knows all the ins and outs of how we play.
“It's not about coaching, it's about the players, it’s about the club and we want to win for the club.
“Doesn't matter who steps in, whatever coach, whatever player, our mentality is to win for our supporters and our club. It's not about coaches or players.
“We're looking forward to Monday, and it's just business like normal.
Thompson believes Postecoglou has left the foundations in place for Muscat to succeed at the helm of the club.
“Ange has given Muscat templates to succeed and we're starting to reap the benefits from the last three weeks that we've played,” he added. “Each week we get better and better.
“Ange has coached Muscat in the last 18 months on how we want to play and what better sort of coach to have than Ange when you're learning?
“The players know what we want to do this year and how we want to play and Muscat is pretty much telling it like it is. It's pretty much the same as when Ange was here.
“Our goals are still the same from day one when Ange was here. We want to bring silverware to this club because it's the biggest club in Australia, and it's been a long drought and we obviously want to win some silverware.
“Ange has set the foundation, and Muscat’s building the house.”
Victory have enjoyed a reasonable start to the season and are still undefeated after picking up draws against Melbourne Heart and Adelaide United, and a win over Brisbane Roar.
But Thompson has been far from his usual threatening self in the opening three games, finding it difficult to get into games and straying offside on many occasions.
“People don't understand that the way we play there's a high fine line of offside,” the 35-year-old said.
“Two or three times this year I wasn't offside so you just got to keep walking that fine line. As frustrating as it is for myself and as frustrating as it is for the supporters, the goals will come.
“I've been in seasons where I've been in droughts for seven, matches but then bang, when it comes, it comes.
“I'll keep walking that fine line because once you spring the trap it's goalbound.”
Thompson will come up against his former boss Ernie Merrick for the first time since he left Victory and is very wary of the threat Phoenix pose.
“Ernie has got them playing a decent brand of football this year and they're well structured,” he said.
“We can't turn up tomorrow and think they're going to be easy beats, because they're not.
"They're a good side, they're very solid and they're going to bring it to us, because every team that comes to Melbourne and plays in front of a full house seems to lift them up a gear.
“We just have to turn up and know that we're confident we can get three points.”