Archie backs Brebner

Melbourne striker Archie Thompson has backed veteran Scottish midfielder Grant Brebner to step into the breach left by the season-ending knee injury to Billy Celeski.

Melbourne striker Archie Thompson has backed veteran Scottish midfielder Grant Brebner to step into the breach left by the season-ending knee injury to Billy Celeski.

Thompson said the club was shattered by the news that Celeski would be ruled out for 12 months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the early stages of last Thursday's 1-1 draw against Wellington.

"Obviously to lose Billy, I mean he was starting to come good, he'd just come back from hip surgery. To do an injury like he did was very disappointing. I looked at the video when I got home. I had to ring him up because it was such a devastating injury for someone to have. I had to send my condolences to him," he said.

But Thompson said that Brebner, who due to injury and form has started in just 26 of the Victory's past 50 matches, was ready to assume the creative defensive midfielder role left vacant by Celeski's injury.

"We've got Grant who's come in. He's looking to cement a position. He's been training really well," he said.

Melbourne has just five points from as many matches this season, which would not appear to be a suitable return for a team defending its premiership-championship double from last season. But the club's attacking stocks are set to be boosted ahead of Sunday's home game against Wellington by the return of Carlos Hernandez.

"We know it's not ideal to come into the season and only have five points after five games, but us as a group, we're obviously disappointed because we had high hopes to start off well. But it's a long season, and we've got players who can come in and do jobs."

Thompson said it was especially important that Melbourne started to get success in home matches having played three times at Etihad Stadium this season for two draws and a loss.

"We haven't had a win at home. We want Etihad Stadium to be a fortress, and to have already three games and not a win, we are disappointed for our supporters who come in numbers," he said.

"We have been playing some good positive football, but we haven't converted them into points, which we want to hopefully do on Sunday."

Meanwhile, Thompson said he is pleased with his current form, having scored three goals in the past three matches, but wants wins to come along with those goals. He is also in awe of the form of Gold Coast striker Shane Smeltz, who has scored eight goals in five matches.

"I would love those goals to be three-pointers. Once I got that one off my back, the confidence starts to come and you find it a bit easier. Obviously, I'd love to know what Shane Smeltz is taking. I would love to be on some of that, and it makes us other strikers want to chase the goals," he said.

Melbourne confirmed later on Tuesday that Thompson's strike partner Danny Allsopp has left the club to take up an offer in the Middle East.