Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says the club will move forward from Mark Milligan’s absence, and was not prepared to delve into the reasoning for his departure.
It was announced on Sunday that Milligan had signed for Saudi Arabian outfit Al Ahli, despite the club releasing a statement last week saying he was not for sale.
It's likely the 32-year-old will still be in regular contention with the national team, with the recent appointment of Bert van Marwijk.
Muscat was adamant he was not thinking about Milligan, and was confident Terry Antonis could fill the void.
“We can dig and scratch, but my concentration is on the weekend. I’m not saying it’s not disappointing, it is,” Muscat said on Friday.
“We move on, we’ve got a big game to look forward to with a big group and a positive group.
“It’s gone now, my focus is on the players that are here. From that perspective, it’s never ideal, we’ve got to accept that.
“It’s part of the game and it’s never ideal to be losing players in January, but that’s not the focus. The focus is on the group, we’ve got a real strong group and leaders as well. We won’t be looking backwards, we’ll be looking forward.
“The conversations were private and they’ll remain private. The facts are Mark’s gone and the fact is we’ll move forward.”
Victory take on second-placed Newcastle Jets on Saturday and will be without right-back Jason Geria due to suspension.
The Jets will be without Daniel Georgievski, but Roy O’Donovan has been named after battling a groin injury.
However Muscat was unfazed about the inclusion.
“I haven’t thought about it to be honest, it’s out of our control and if he’s available, he’s available,” he said.
“We’ve prepared for Newcastle as a team and prepared ourselves to be in a good position to perform, we’re looking forward to putting that into action tomorrow night.”