The Tunisian was pictured in the stands in last week’s 2-1 win over Adelaide United as FoxSports commentator Robbie Slater alleged his omission was to prevent triggering a contract extension clause at the club.

Muscat would not be drawn into commenting on Ben Khalfallah’s contract situation after the win over the Reds.

He maintained that view on Thursday morning, and spoke of winger Jai Ingham and his impact this season.

“We concentrate and isolate individuals but in all this, Jai (Ingham) has performed pretty well in the last couple of weeks which Robbie Slater forgot to mention,” Muscat said.

“Everything is dictated by what happens out on the training pitch and Fahid is training really well this week.

 “I understand everyone’s got a job. These stories put people in the spotlight, it’s life and it just happens every week somewhere around the world.

“We don’t discuss contracts, so I think it’ll be disrespectful to any individuals that we’re talking about. Something we’ve done right throughout – whether it’s Fahid, Archie Thompson, Adrian Leijer… Regardless of who it is, I don’t think it’s respectful to discuss it.”

Ingham has been a breath of fresh air for Muscat

It is understood Ingham may line-up for New Zealand in Victory’s Round 24 clash against Brisbane Roar when the club could lose up to four players due to international duty.

Ingham is eligible to play for New Zealand and Samoa through his mother. He is also able to play for Australia and was born in Lismore, New South Wales.

Progression has been fast for Ingham in the past year after Victory snapped him up from Victorian NPL side Hume City in January 2016.

“His last six months have been really good his last couple of performances and very good, he had something different to other players we’ve got in that position,” he said.

“The fact now he’s getting some recognition with New Zealand puts us in a predicament in the game against Brisbane, I’ll put that to one side, because if selected I’m very pleased for him and deserves it. (But it) puts us in a difficult situation.”

Victory are currently eight points behind table-topping Sky Blues.

They have lost 2-1 in their past two meetings this season with Victory hitting the lead in both games.

Rojas has won a total of 28 fouls this season

He was also prepared for star winger Marco Rojas and the physical treatment he receives from opponents because of his small size.

“It’s not the perception, its fact, we review the games and have all the stats to back it up, particularly Marco and the  treatment he is getting in recent weeks because of his form and the way he is playing this season,” Muscat said.

“It’s the easiest way to nullify him. He's been tremendous in avoiding injury and tackles, but it’s certainly something we have noticed creeping in in the last three or four weeks.

“No doubt (it will happen again) the previous games they have turned them into a dog fight, we will try and get the ball down.”