Fit Robbie earning respect

Melbourne Victory striker Robbie Kruse may feel like he has had a target painted on the back of his head this season, but he views that as a sign of the growing respect opposition players have for him.

Melbourne Victory striker Robbie Kruse may feel like he has had a target painted on the back of his head this season, but he views that as a sign of the growing respect opposition players have for him.

Kruse is set to play a major role in Saturday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final despite suffering what looked like a season-ending injury in the final game of the regular season against Sydney.

The 21-year old said he feared his finals campaign would be over before it began when he was initially diagnosed with a broken leg.

"Everyone tells you to be positive but you always think of the worst. I was disappointed with what happened, particularly with the tackle," he said of the challenge which earned Sydney hardman Terry McFlynn a yellow card.

"Thankfully the staff down here have been perfect and they've been working on me 24/7 and really working me. Archie (Thompson) and I have been really working hard together in the gym. It was tough but thankfully I had that week off, and only missed one match."

It was the third time this season that Kruse has been on the receiving end of a controversial tackle, but he insists he will keep rolling with the punches and won't change his style.

"I'm obviously doing something right for the opposing players to keep targeting me. If they keep wanting to do it, that's fine by me. I keep getting through and I keep putting on a good show," he said.

The injury ended up being diagnosed as badly damage ligaments in the ankle, but Kruse was delighted to be able to come back in the second leg of the major semi-final against Sydney and score the first goal of the game.

"I came back against Sydney and the ankle felt right and thankfully I scored a goal and did my part for the team," Kruse said. "I think the importance of it was the thing. It was a good strike and luckily more importantly it helped the team host the final."

Kruse, who has also been carrying a shoulder injury, feels like he is back to full fitness ahead of Saturday's match and can't wait to re-united with Archie Thompson, who has had injury problems of his own.

"This week in training I felt the best I've felt in a long time, about a month or so. I really feel like I can do my part for the team and put on a good show and do myself and my family and the fans proud. I really think if me and Archie are paired together, we can cause some damage," he said.