Sydney FC guard of honour not on Victory's radar

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Melbourne Victory won't be offering a guard of honour to A-League premiers Sydney FC in their last-round clash on Friday night, dismissing the notion as mind games and propaganda from the Sky Blues.

A Fairfax Media report stated Sydney FC requested the act of recognition from their rivals before kick-off at Allianz Stadium.

The same gesture was extended to the Sky Blues last season by last-round opponent Newcastle Jets.

But it won't be happening this season after the idea and its tabling through the media sparked a furious response from Victory coach Kevin Muscat.

"There's nothing to fulfil ... there hasn't been a request," Muscat said.

"We haven't heard anything about it.

"And it's a little bit late in the piece now. We're preparing for a football game so it's irrelevant really."

Muscat dismissed the article as "disrespectful" journalism designed to get under the club's skin.

A Sydney FC spokesperson said an email was sent to the Victory's football operations team enquiring whether they would be offering the guard of honour, confirming it was sent after the report.

The Victory believe the entire episode to be an effort in gamesmanship.

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold distanced himself from the request a day out from the match.

"I don't know anything about that. Last year Newcastle did it for us (but) we didn't ask for it, they did it," he said.

"It's totally up to Melbourne and we're just preparing to walk down that tunnel and go across that white line on the pitch and we're expecting a really good game.

"Anything else around that doesn't matter ... it's totally up to them."

The tit-for-tat shows there's still plenty of life in the Big Blue, despite Sydney's two-year domination of the fixture.

The Victory have lost the last seven editions of the contest - including last year's grand final when Sydney FC claimed the championship on penalties.

With five wins in their last six matches and the carrot of a potential third-placed finish on the line, Muscat said his side would relish the chance to end their losing run against Arnold's side.

"We feel we're getting stronger. The last six or seven weeks has been evidence of that," Muscat said.

"Games against Sydney have been fierce and really competitive and aggressive.

"We're looking forward to that. "We go across there with that attitude and that mindset and we'll perform well."

Source: AAP

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