Injury clouds Victory's win

Melbourne's most comprehensive win of the year has come at some cost to the defending champion with three players suffering injuries in the 4-0 success over Gold Coast United.

Melbourne's most comprehensive win of the year has come at some cost to the defending champion with three players suffering injuries in the 4-0 success over Gold Coast United.

Victory secured an easy win thanks to two goals in either half to confirm their spot on top of the table, but may have to do without Grant Brebner, Evan Berger and Matthew Kemp for the short-term future, all of whom were substituted during the match.

Brebner has a suspected broken ankle, an injury which could threaten his participation in the remainder of the campaign, while Berger's rotten luck with injury has continued, with the wing back tearing his hamstring in just his third appearance since August. Kemp, a vital cog in Melbourne's defence and midfield, has a groin strain.

"It was a fantastic performance by us but we have paid a price for it with three injuries," coach Ernie Merrick said.

"Brebs is at the hospital, having his ankle X-rayed as speak. Kempy's got a groin strain and Evan Berger looks like his torn his hamstring quite badly."

Merrick said that it was the only sour note of an otherwise positive night for his team.

"The boys are on top of the world, we've suffered two pretty bad defeats at home and they wanted to atone for that and all the boys can do is perform on the pitch, it doesn't matter what you say. We never felt as though we were playing badly at home. We proved tonight, we kept a clean sheet, we attacked well, it was great to see the combinations working so week up front," he said.

One of the best on the park for Melbourne was Nick Ward, who had only recently returned from a serious injury himself. Merrick was delighted with the way he approached the game.

"I thought Nick got a bit of a scare, he got back and in midfield his game plan play was just about perfect. He did exactly what was asked of him. I had to change him into centre midfield, he did a great job there. I thought he was outstanding, it's good to see him back."

Merrick said Ward was a positive example to those three players who had suffered injury setbacks during the game - that they could come back and play good football soon after returning from injury.

"I think Nick's story's a good story. It just shows what you can do with determination and perseverance. I think would credit come of the staff that have worked with him in strength and conditioning, sports science and medical staff. We create that sort of positive atmosphere, so yes it would inspire those guys who have been injured," he said.

Gold Coast, which went into the match without seven first-choice players, suffered on the injury front as well. Steve Fitzsimmons dislocated his finger, but should be right to face the Central Coast next week, but the diagnosis on Joel Porter, who limped off early in the second half, is unclear.

"I asked the doctor how he was," coach Miron Bleiberg said. "Porter was in the distance hearing and the doctor told me it's not that bad. So first of all, it's not that good, and he said not that bad, but maybe that's because Porter was around. I'm not sure."

Bleiberg described the result of the game as predictable given the inexperienced line-up that Gold Coast was forced to field.

"The word predictable was probably quite right. It was either predictable or miracle what would happen. Believe me, I didn't sleep well before this game because I knew it was more likely that the predictable would happen," he said.

"To tell you that I'm surprised, I'm not. I would have liked it to be 1-0 or 2-0, but I didn't bank on getting any points from this match."