KEVIN Muscat is adamant he will not change Melbourne Victory's style of play despite some frustrating results in recent weeks.
Victory dominated possession away to Central Coast in Round 8 and at home to the Newcastle Jets last Sunday, but were held to a 0-0 draw in Gosford, before going down 2-1 at AAMI Park last time out.
The lack of a traditional centre-forward in Victory's fluid 4-2-4 formation has been mooted as a reason behind their inability at times to convert possession into goals.
And while Muscat acknowledged having a central striker in the squad would offer him an alternative, he insisted the coaching staff have no intention of altering their preferred tactics any time soon.
"I suppose if we wanted to change the way we play and change the current structure, maybe," said Muscat when asked if would like to be able to call on an old fashioned No.9.
"But I'm not interested in changing the current structure. The structure has brought us some very attractive and good football. The fact (is) that we haven't got the points return that maybe we deserve ... but I'm not losing too much sleep over changing the structure.
"To cut the question short and not have to answer it again in the near future if results don't go accordingly, I believe in what we're doing. And more importantly, the team believes in the way we're playing.
"At this point in time we're not going to get bogged down in terms of results because we'll lose sight of the performance. I'm very comfortable and I thoroughly believe in what we're doing."
Muscat also rejected suggestions he is stuck with a football philosophy inherited from his predecessor Ange Postecoglou.
"I'm the head coach of this football club and I own the current structure, because I've got an opportunity to change it if I want to," he said.
Marquee defender Pablo Contreras was at fault for Newcastle's winning goal on Sunday, but the Chilean's position is apparently not under threat yet, despite promising youngster Nick Ansell excelling when called upon at centre-back so far this season.
"Last week there was a number of errors made and hence we conceded two goals," Muscat said.
"I'm looking for a reaction ... from the whole squad. Because we defend as a team, as a unit. Whenever you concede a goal, you can point the finger at an individual if you want. But that's not something we do internally."
Forward Archie Thompson, who missed the loss to the Jets due to a tight hamstring, has trained with the team this week and is likely to return to the starting XI for the visit of Perth Glory on Friday, with Connor Pain likely to make way.
Muscat revealed that Jason Geria will come into the team at right-back, with Leigh Broxham reverting to central midfield and Rashid Mahazi dropping to the bench.
Finally, the Victory coach confirmed Brazilian forward Gui Finkler, yet to start a game this season, is close to full fitness following his comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but must now force his way past either James Troisi or Mitch Nichols if he is to regain a first-team berth.