Melbourne Victory may have left Dorrien Gardens as winners on Tuesday night after beating Perth Glory 1-0 in their Round of 32 FFA Cup clash, but their coach Kevin Muscat cut a frustrated figure post-match.
As the home team, Glory opted to host the match at the suburban ground of Dorrien instead of NIB Stadium which they generally use for A-League fixtures.
Though tapping into the grassroots focus of the FFA Cup, the decision saw both sides compete on a less than ideal playing surface.
Knowing the state of the pitch beforehand, Muscat confirmed he left a few players including new signings Georg Niedermeier and Nick Ansell back in Melbourne so as not to risk them on the pitch.
The Victory coach stressing the FFA Cup can't be taken seriously until A-League sides play at proper venues when drawn against fellow A-League opposition.
"The ground here has tried their hardest but when you’ve got two A-League teams playing each other it’s not conducive to professional sport," Muscat said.
“If you draw an NPL I can understand it, you play at their ground. When you draw an A-League team and take it to someone else’s ground it doesn’t make any sense to me.
“Until it happens where A-League teams are playing A-League teams at proper stadiums, how can you take the competition seriously?
"You don’t draw a professional team and take it to a community park. It’s staggering.
"We get these little things right and the respect for the competition will go through the roof."
Glory coach Tony Popovic was a little less critical of the pitch and admitted the surface was even worse a few weeks ago.
On the pitch, a Kosta Barbarouses strike in the first half was enough to earn Victory a 1-0 win with Muscat's side drawn against APIA Leichhardt in the Round of 16.