Interim Melbourne Victory coach Jim Magilton says the A-League club is in urgent need of an overhaul and player clean out – and he wants to be the man to carry it out.
The Victory’s disappointing season came to a dead end on Saturday night, with a 1-0 loss away to Sydney FC ending any faint mathematical hopes of reaching the finals for the former league powerhouse.
The defeat continued a poor run of results under Magilton, who was installed as interim coach after the mid-season sacking of Mehmet Durakovic, taking the Northern Irishman’s record to one win, five draws and four defeats in 10 games in charge.
Magilton said after the loss he wanted a chance to atone for that run by being appointed fulltime coach for next season and bluntly proclaimed the club’s roster needed an overhaul, regardless of whether he or someone else coached the two-time champions.
“Obviously I recognise the club has had great success, with players who have done a great service for the club,” Magilton said after the Victory failed to reach the finals for only the third time in seven seasons.
“It came up during the week, but Newcastle won the grand final (in 2007/08) and Melbourne Victory won it the year after and when we played them last week only one of the players from Newcastle (Tarek Elrich) was still around. We have many.
“So, again, whilst we recognise they’ve done great things and the club has been very loyal, I’d say it needs freshening up a little.”
Asked precisely what needed to change at the club, Magilton was blunt.
“Personnel. Culture,” the 42-year-old said.
“… It was quite evident tonight there needs to be probably a greater quality come in and greater consistency and the approach to everything we do.
“I think that has to be brought from a change in personnel, a different mindset and I think it needs to be done sooner rather than later.”
Magilton referenced his time as a youth player with Liverpool from 1986 to 1990 in expressing his desire to recruit and work with “driven individuals.”
“I watched great players come in every day and do their jobs, win trophies, show the desire day in day out, week in week out, get a medal, throw it in a box and go again,” he said.
While the Victory will now turn to the crucial decisions over their coaching future, Sydney FC remain firmly focused on the current campaign after taking control of their finals fate at Allianz Stadium.
The win left the Sky Blues with a simple equation – win their remaining two games against Melbourne Heart (away) and Newcastle (home) to guarantee a top six finish – and captain Terry McFlynn backed his side to continue thriving under do-or-die pressure.
“We’ve got an experienced enough squad,” McFlynn said.
“I think you saw (against Victory) when things are on the line everyone puts their hand up stands up and is counted.”