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Leijer ready to step into Muscat shoes at Melbourne Victory

Adrian Leijer knows it is a big task to step into the boots of Melbourne Victory stalwart Kevin Muscat. The 24-year old centre-half has taken the captaincy from the veteran, who will retire from the game after the Asian Champions League, and says he is ready to become the leader the Victory is so used to having.

On the eve of the A-League finals, in which the Victory meet Gold Coast United in a knockout final on Sunday, Leijer told the Herald Sun that he was warming to his position and looked forward to the future with the captain's armband.

"Obviously they're massive shoes to fill and I can't expect to have the presence that he has," Leijer said.

"He's got many years experience on me, but in my own way I'll try and do what's best for the team.

"Having the assistance of all the guys around me will make it easier for me.

"It's an added responsibility, but one I enjoy and although I wear the armband there's a lot of leaders in our team and that makes my job a hell of a lot easier."

And Leijer was confident ahead of the Gold Coast clash, having plenty of faith in the players he leads out onto the pitch to do the job and move into the next phase of the playoffs.

"Although we were disappointed to lose in Adelaide (in the last round of the regular season), getting Gold Coast first-up was probably what we'd take," he added.

"It's not going to be easy by any means, but if we play to our best I'm sure we can get the job done.

"They're a difficult side to play against. Sometimes they're a bit unknown, but in saying that we're confident at the moment with the players we're getting back.

"It's probably the first time all season we've been near full strength so hopefully we can put in a good performance.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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