Victory give Muscat time

Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat has been given a break by the club to contemplate his future.

Muscat was handed an eight-match suspension by the Football Federation Australia disciplinary committee on Thursday for his crude tackle on Melbourne Heart winger Adrian Zahra.

Whether the ban would spell the end of a career that has featured 51 caps for Australia, 122 Victory games and stints at Crystal Palace, Wolves, Glasgow Rangers and Millwall is something the club will not press the 37-year-old veteran about.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash against Gold Coast United at AAMI Park, Victory coach Ernie Merrick revealed Muscat was spending some time away from the club.

“We’ve given him a bit of a break, then we’ll get together and have a chat about what’s going to happen moving forward from here,” Merrick said.

“It’s (his playing future) not something I want to speculate on, I’ll leave that until I’ve had a discussion with Kevin down the track.”

Merrick said Victory had no issue with the severity of the penalty handed out by the FFA, adding the club will “move on from there.”

Asked about Muscat’s reaction to the ban, Merrick said: “Obviously Kevin’s hurt by the situation, but he’s accepted it and taken it on the chin.”