Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri says excitement is the key word going into their 2018 Asian Champions League (ACL) campaign.
Victory kick-off their ACL campaign at AAMI Park on Tuesday night against South Korean outfit Ulsan Hyundai.
Ulsan finished fourth in the K-League Classic last season and have South Korean internationals Park Joo-Hoo and Kim Chang-Soo in their squad.
Victory are performing well below expectations in the A-League as they sit fifth after a 2-1 home loss to Brisbane Roar last Friday, but now have a new challenge to look forward to.
“It's exciting...that’s the key word today, I think we've said it a thousand times, excitement. Everyone's excited,” Valeri said on Monday.
“First things first, we can't look too far ahead and we have to focus on tomorrow night. Tomorrow night's all about Ulsan and we're ready for it.
“We're prepared, we've prepared well...despite Friday night, there has been a lot of excitement and it's worthy of it.”
Victory broke their own record after reaching the ACL round of 16 for the first time in their 2016 campaign.
To do it again this time, Victory will also have to conquer J-League side Kawasaki Frontale and Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG, who they met in the 2016.
Coach Kevin Muscat has been under pressure due to the club’s performances this season, but has backed himself to focus on the performance rather than the result.
“Ninety-nine times…the result is what's analysed rather than the performance,” Muscat said.
“There's no shying away, we're in the position we're in and we have to accept that. We've got to go out and play with real belief and there is a belief in the group and there is a belief in the team.
“What we want to try to do is put a performance on that's worthy of the right result and couple those things together.
“We understand that on those terraces, they want to see a team who goes out and gives everything for their football club and fights and competes at every opportunity.
“From our perspective as a playing group, that should be the bare minimum.”