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Muscat had no luck in Belgium: Sainsbury

Socceroo Trent Sainsbury believes with a bit more fortune Kevin Muscat would still be in charge of Belgian club Sint-Truiden.

The former Melbourne Victory boss was axed by the Canaries earlier this month after just 14 matches in charge.

Muscat could only guide Sint-Truiden to two wins in his time at the helm, leaving the club 16th and just a point outside the relegation play-off spot.

Sainsbury, who joined Kortrijk in Belgium following his release from Israeli club Maccabi Haifa in August, faced Muscat’s team in October.

Kortrijk escaped from that match with a 0-0 draw despite Sainsbury’s teammate Faiz Selemani being sent off in the second-half.

“His team played very good football it’s just they could not buy a win,” Sainsbury said.

“They were a really difficult team to play against. Fast, high-pace, tempo, good press but even against us, we went down to 10 men, for I think 20 minutes, and they hit the crossbar, post.

“It’s just small things like that in every game that seemed to work against them. He was a bit unlucky but that’s the nature of the beast in this environment.”

Sainsbury dismissed the suggestion Muscat was up against it due to being an Australian coach overseas, saying his sacking just reflected the cut-throat nature of professional football in Europe.

“He’s a good coach. Everyone knows that,” he said.

“That’s why he’s been so successful in Australia and unfortunately for him it just didn’t work out over here.”

Things are working out better for Sainsbury in Belgium, after stints at Inter Milan, Swiss club Grasshopper, Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven and Maccabi in the past four years.

The ex-Central Coast player has played eight games for the club this season, who sit 10th on the 18-team ladder.

“At the moment I’m playing a lot of minutes. That was the intention when I came back to Europe,” he said.

“My wife’s happy, which is one of the big positives – happy wife, happy life – but it was one of the main reasons we wanted to come back to Europe from Israel. Trying to enjoy my football.”

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