The Kosovan striker was visibly angered after his 70th minute substitution in Melbourne Victory's 1-0 win in the Asian Champions League (ACL).

But Muscat was quick to downplay any suggestions of a rift with his star striker.Β 

β€œLast time I checked, it’s a football team,” Muscat said. β€œNo-one is happy when they come off.

β€œI'm more interested about what the ones who come on are going to do. Kenny (Athiu) done very, very well prior to the goal, he played Kosta in and it came back out and we started again.

β€œChrissy (Theoharous) influenced the game, contributed to the game and Josh Hope was great.

β€œHe didn't show any fear, playing with a lot of freedom, so the contribution from the boys who came on was exactly what's required for the team and that's what I'm interested in more."

Berisha has endured a difficult season for the Big V, at least by his usually lofty standards, scoring nine goals in 20 A-League appearances and two in four ACL matches.

The forward has came in for some criticism, but recently hit back on FourFourTwo, saying his critics "don't understand football".Β 

In recent matches Berisha has performed strongly, however, with a goal againsst Adelaide United and an assist in the derby against Melbourne City retaining Victory's fourth spot on the ladder.

The win over Kawasaki leaves Victory third in their ACL group, but only trailing K-League outfit Ulsan Hyundai on goal difference.

β€œAs the game wore on, I think we came to grips with that and the speed and intensity of their pressure and we hurt them and made them defend numerous times," Muscat said.

β€œIf you want to describe that persistent pressure, the last 20, 25 minutes, it was relentless and it's a credit to the group."