Baby makes three headaches

Melbourne Victory could be forced to re-shuffle their makeshift defence again ahead of Saturday's Hyundai A-League clash with North Queensland in Townsville with Matthew Kemp in doubt with his wife about to give birth.

Melbourne Victory could be forced to re-shuffle their makeshift defence again ahead of Saturday's Hyundai A-League clash with North Queensland in Townsville with Matthew Kemp in doubt with his wife about to give birth.

Melbourne will likely take an extra player when it flies out on Friday, while Kemp may not fly until Saturday with his wife Stephanie a chance to have the couple's first baby over the weekend.

Kemp has been filling in for injured skipper Kevin Muscat at centre back and should he not be available then coach Ernie Merrick will be forced to make yet another change to the back four.

"Matthew Kemp's wife Steph is about to have a baby and we're think of taking an extra player up just in case at the last minute, she decides to have a child. It's an exciting time for him," Merrick said.

"We'll allow him to fly in late, and look at getting him an early flight out and missing a recovery session. Family is much more important than football."

Merrick already has plenty to consider in terms of the make up of his back four with Kemp's vacant position at right back needing to be filled. Nick Ward played there early last week, but while he was able to attack well, Brisbane's three goals all came from his side of the park. Ward and Surat Sukha could be considered, while there is a possibility that Steven Pace could make his first start in two seasons, and Kemp, if available, moves back out to the right.

"We've added (Matthew) Foschini and Pace to the squad and then we'll keep our options open," Merrick said.

"All of our players in the squad are realistic options and we have an intra-club club match every week and (Pace) has certainly performed well in those, yes he's a realistic chance."

However, new signing Matthew Foschini is unlikely to play, with Merrick indicating the 18-year-old still has plenty of development to come.

"He's very coachable and one of our future players. He's not ready to be thrown into the deep end yet, but one that we're looking at for the future. I wouldn't rule him out of playing later on in the season, but really happy that we've signed him," Merrick said.

"I don't think I would like to put the boy under too much pressure at this time, we have him there, because you never know how your last session might go with an injury, and he's a good defender. But I don't think he'll be in the squad this week. You have to pick you games for the youngsters when they come in, to make sure they are ready for it. You don't want to shatter his confidence."

Complicating matters further is the fact that left back Evan Berger has been struggling with groin soreness. He has failed to complete several sessions in the past fortnight and was subbed off late in the 3-3 draw with Brisbane. Merrick in confident that the speedy 22-year-old will be fit for the match.

"Some players require maintenance at different times of the year, especially those explosive type athletes, who really put in hard hours. He's pretty right I think, it's just precautionary," he said.

But while the Victory have conceded five goals in the space of two games, Merrick refused to point the finger at the defence, saying the whole team had a responsibility to prevent opposition goal scoring chances.

"We always have a look at every area on the pitch, there's no specific areas, we just look at how we are performing, what we need to change and whether that involved personnel change, but I think we're playing very good football. We just can't leak five goals in two matches, there's a few things we need to look at," he said.

"The assumption is that when we concede goals it's the backline, but the defence starts at the front and in midfield is the second line of defence. There's more than just the backline."