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Victory's new coach to be an interim one

Melbourne Victory says it will have a new A-League coach within the next 48 hours, but he will only be guaranteed a job until the end of this season.

The Victory sacked Mehmet Durakovic on Friday, just seven months and 14 matches into his tenure after an underwhelming season for the club.

But his replacement remains unclear, with the Victory considering signing an overseas coach on a short-term deal, before making a more permanent appointment ahead of next season.

Club chairman Anthony Di Pietro said current assistant Kevin Muscat would take charge of the Victory for Saturday night's home clash with Newcastle Jets.

But he emphatically ruled out Muscat taking on the permanent job after Durakovic's axing.

Instead, ex-Charlton and Crystal Palace boss Iain Dowie and former Northern Ireland international Jim Magilton - who both missed out on the Northern Ireland manager's job this week - are prominent in speculation to take on the Victory job until the end of the season.

Ex-Socceroos and Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina is also believed to have support from Victory decision-makers - having worked closely and well with star player Harry Kewell during his national team days.

Di Pietro said confirmation of the new coach was imminent - most likely within the next 48 hours and perhaps as soon as before the Jets' match.

And he defended the performance of his board, which has now sacked two coaches and two football directors - Gary Cole and Francis Awaritefe - in 10 months after the club's previous history of stability.

"In relation to recruitment, there's always risk," Di Pietro said.

"No matter how deep your due diligence and expert advice you receive, there is risk. In this case, what we're doing is being pro-active about the change we need to make.

"We gave Mehmet every opportunity to achieve success this season but we found we were inconsistent and without direction.

"After 14 games, the club is in a position which isn't acceptable, and change is required."

Durakovic, who was on a two-year contract, was only appointed fulltime in June.

He had been caretaker coach following the board's surprise sacking in March of Ernie Merrick - the A-League's most successful coach who guided the club to two championships.

Durakovic had been the club's youth team coach.

But following just three A-League wins in his time in charge, and the failure of a star-studded team including Kewell to gel, fans had been agitating for his sacking.

The Victory board had also been divided over his future as recently as late November - Durakovic surviving a ballot calling for his removal by a single vote.


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