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Muscat apologises to Zahra

Melbourne Victory skipper Kevin Muscat has phoned injured Heart player Adrian Zahra to apologise for his heavy tackle during last Saturday's A-League derby match.

Muscat faces a Football Federation Australia tribunal hearing on Thursday when a ban of more than five games is expected to be handed down.

Zahra accepted Muscat's apology and the phone conversation ended on good terms, a Heart spokesman said on Tuesday.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip says his club is putting the incident behind them and chasing nine points from their remaining three games in a bid to make the playoffs.

The coach says he hopes Zahra can recover from his knee injury in time for the pre-season campaign.

Van 't Schip said he was pleased to see Zahra getting around training at Bundoora on Tuesday on crutches and in good spirits.

"He's laughing. He's happy that it is not as bad as maybe we expected," the coach told reporters.

"He can work on his comeback now.

"Everybody was happy for him and also for the club. He has done very well until now.

"Of course he will miss out for the next games but he will be sharp and fit in the pre-season."

Van 't Schip said he didn't want to give a view on what sort of suspension Muscat should receive.

"No I don't think it has any importance what I think about it. We just have to go from here," he said.

"He has to deal with whatever punishment he's going to get and I think he will accept it, from what he said.

"So for us, it's over.

"It's not up to me. It's for the judge to look at that.

"We are preparing ourselves for an important game at Gold Coast against Brisbane."

Van 't Schip said the Heart could take positives from the way they handled the fiery atmosphere of Saturday's drawn derby clash.

"Overall we showed that we can fight, we have great character in the team, we showed some good football," he said.

"We could have even won the game at the end.

"All those things are big and important signs for the club that we are heading in the right way.

"We take that with us in our preparation for the game on Saturday."

The sixth-placed Heart play top side Brisbane at the Gold Coast on Saturday.


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