Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has refused to heap praise on Gui Finkler despite admitting he was pleased with his performance in their 1-1 draw with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Brazilian, who ruptured his ACL last season and has been finding his way back into form off the bench recently, struck a brilliant injury time free-kick to earn the Victory a deserved point in what was a riveting contest at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
And despite Finkler showing glimpses of the kind of performances that made him one of the Victory's most dangerous players earlier last season, Muscat admitted he has a long way to go to cement a starting berth.
"I'm actually quite happy with what Gui is delivering at the moment. He's coming on, he's changing the outcome of games. When he is ready to play 90 minutes, I'll play him," Muscat said.
"I'm not going to go into the details of it (but) Gui's come a long way. He's had a serious knee operation less than 12 months ago. There was a plan in place for Gui long before the last couple of weeks. We are certainly aware of Gui's ability but we are also aware of his body."
The midfielder's heroics ensure the Victory remain in third place on the A-League table, four points adrift of the Wanderers and seven behind league-leader's Brisbane.
The game was just as memorable for the atmosphere off the pitch as the action on it and despite some ugly scenes between fans before kick-off, Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said the occasion proved the Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney rivalry is growing.
"Certainly you can feel there's a rivalry. There's a rivalry in the stadium with the fans which is great, you know both sets of fans supporting throughout the 90 minutes," Popovic said.
"It's a great atmosphere, it feels like a big game and I'm sure the rivalry will just keep getting bigger and bigger."
Click here to catch all the action from Friday night's A-League game LIVE