Archie backs Durakovic for coach

Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson has thrown his support behind current caretaker coach Mehmet Durakovic to take over the job on a permanent basis.

Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson has thrown his support behind current caretaker coach Mehmet Durakovic to take over the job on a permanent basis.

Durakovic took over the team after the shock departure of Ernie Merrick earlier this month and will oversee the remainder of an Asian Champions League campaign which already looks doomed to fail after Melbourne lost their first two games.

While no guarantees have been given to the former Socceroo after the completion of the ACL, Thompson has been impressed by what Durakovic has brought to the role and believes that a full-time appointment would meet the approval of the playing group.

"He manages the boys well. Everyone has got the utmost respect for him. That's not saying we didn't have respect for Ernie, but it's good to have respect for your coach and we respect his career as a player as well," Thompson said.

"I said before that with no disrespect to Ernie, it was starting to feel a little bit stale towards of the end of the season. With Mehm coming in, everything changing, it's fresh."

"For myself it's like a whole new lease on life, I don't know where I am going to be. With Ernie I knew I was going to be starting. You just don't know anymore and it's refreshing and it makes you go out there and work very hard."

Durakovic is one of the most respected former players in Australia having had a long NSL career and represented the Socceroos on 64 occasions.

Thompson said that respect was important, but he doesn't believe that a coach doesn't necessarily need to have a decorated playing career to be suitable.

"I don't think Guus Hiddink could put shin pads over his legs. I don't think it matters, but from a players' point of view to have someone like Mehm with what he has achieved in his career. To have him step up and know a lot about the game as a player and a coach, it's very important," he said.

Whatever the new board's decision, Thompson believes it would b to the benefit of the whole club to decide the future coaching direction sooner rather than later.

"Players want to know where they are at, who's going to come in. In saying that, the club needs to bring in the right person and you just can't jump on anyone," he said.

"I think Mehm knows a lot. It's just fresh now at training. It feels a lot different, working on a lot of things we didn't work on against Ernie. I'm sure whoever gets the position, if Mehm gets it, everyone will be doing their best for him."

The A-League's record goalscorer said that despite a massive upheaval at Victory over the past few months, where the chairman, CEO and coach have departed and foundation captain Kevin Muscat has announced his retirement, the playing group has every faith in the future direction of the club.

"We know as players where the club wants to go. We want to be the Manchester United of the A-League. I still think we are there. I think results haven't gone our way on the pitch, then that's the most important thing."

"As long as we're doing our job on the pitch, then the people on the board and behind the scenes know what to do," he said.