Discipline irks Merrick

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick said his team had 'no excuses' for its showing of poor discipline in their Round 8 match against the Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick said his team had 'no excuses' for its showing of poor discipline in their Round 8 match against the Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

Frustration in the second half boiled over when Victory playmaker Archie Thompson was given his first Hyundai A-League red card during the 58th minute when he swore at referee Matthew Breeze.

Merrick conceded his team must improve on its poor discipline record, which now includes four red cards to four separate players from the past eight games.

"The players have been told the referees are going to enforce strict discipline on dissent and I guess the assumption is always made if they're swearing, and it's in the vicinity of the referee, it's directed at the referee," Merrick said at a post-match press conference.

"Newcastle pressured us really well and that's annoying but that's tough; the boys have to get used to that and get on with the game. There are no excuses for dissent but there was definitely a bit of frustration there."

While the Victory must now prepare for next week's crucial clash against Sydney without Thompson, Merrick drew on positives from the action-pack clash including goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos' strong game.

"He certainly kept us in the game. I thought we would have got a draw with 11 players but I thought Michael was outstanding and it took a terrific shot to beat him," he said.

Victory captain Kevin Muscat said he was proud of his undermanned side's effort in the second half but said there was plenty of room for improvement.

"We were nowhere near we wanted to be and nowhere near where we have been. It's funny - when we went down to ten men, we probably got on top of them," Muscat said.

"It [Jesic's goal] probably came against the run-of-play because we were playing well in the second half with ten men but that's just the way it goes. We've got a massive game to look forward to next week now … and you'll see a different Melbourne Victory."