Grant Brebner says he won't let Lawrence Thomas's addition to the growing list of exits from Victory get him down as his side wrap up their dismal season.
Thomas, who is set to sign with Danish outfit SønderjyskE Fodbold, became the fourth high-profile player lost to Victory since the A-League's suspension, joining internationals Ola Toivonen, Tim Hoogland, Jakob Poulsen in the departure lounge.
Their absence, combined with a season-ending injury to Robbie Kruse, is likely the biggest drain on any club's stocks since the shutdown, with the quintet, cumulatively, leaving behind a void of 174 international, 1171 top-flight European and 252 A-League game's worth of experience.
For a club onto its third Head Coach of the season, cocooned in a hub away from home and, short of a miracle, set to record their worst ever league position, one could forgive anyone becoming disillusioned.
But while Brebner can understand the thinking, he isn't approaching it that way.
“What I won’t do is answer questions [in a way] that just sounds like the right answers – is it demoralising? Yes, you could argue that it was," he said today. "But I don’t see it.
“Because I see what we’ve done this season, I see the points we’ve taken this season and the performances we’ve put out there with, arguably, all those players at hand. So, I don’t dwell on that.
“My standard, what I’m asking, will be the same as what I did on the weekend. If [players] are performing they’ll play, if they’re not they won’t play and that’s what they need to remind themselves every day because otherwise, somebody else will come in.”
Victory’s next hit out will arrive on Wednesday evening, when they clash with Brisbane Roar at Bankwest Stadium.
Roar lost 1-0 against Adelaide United on July 19 in what was both Warren Moon’s debut as Head Coach following the departure of Robbie Fowler and their only fixture since the A-League returned from its hiatus.
Fourth place on the A-League table, the club has three matches to come but, with Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC to follow, they will need three points against Victory to stay in the finals’ places.