Head not in the game: Melbourne Victory star Mitch Nichols was hooked at half-time in the heavy loss to the rampant Roar.

Head not in the game: Melbourne Victory star Mitch Nichols was hooked at half-time in the heavy loss to the rampant Roar. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat blasted his team’s listless performance after they allowed themselves to be ‘’dominated’’ by a rampant Brisbane Roar, who ran out 3-0 winners at AAMI Park in a top of the table clash on Saturday night.

Victory was competitive until Liam Miller put Roar ahead midway through the first half, and then the visitors took control.

"We were just not good enough. It was something I have not seen in a very long time. We conceded a goal and started to crumble," Muscat said.

"We all have to take a good look in the mirror and take responsibility for ourselves and analyse our own performances.’’

Muscat revealed that he had taken off key midfielder Mitch Nichols at half-time because of his ineffective performance, not because he was injured.

Nichols has been the subject of an approach from Japanese club Cerezo Osaka and his form has dipped in the fortnight since the news broke.

"Mitch has got a lot on his mind. He’s not injured,’’ Muscat said after the game.

He was also critical of former skipper Adrian Leijer, who was sent off for the second time this season.

"From his perspective it's a poor decision to get his two yellow cards.’’

With Leijer suspended and teenage centre-half Nick Ansell off with the Young Socceroos, Muscat has few options at the heart of his defence for the trip to Newcastle next week.

However, former Chilean international Pablo Contreras should be fit, he said.

One of the few positives from the game was the form of Brazilian Gui Finkler, restored to the starting line-up for the first time since recovering from his knee reconstruction.

"I thought he was instrumental in everything good that we did in the first half. He was never going to be able to play the full 90 minutes,’’ Muscat said.