Leijer a chance to face Reds

Melbourne Victory skipper Adrian Leijer remains a chance to return to the side for Friday's clash against Adelaide United at AAMI Park, new coach Jim Magilton's first match in charge of the club.

Melbourne Victory skipper Adrian Leijer remains a chance to return to the side for Friday's clash against Adelaide United at AAMI Park, new coach Jim Magilton's first match in charge of the club.

Leijer has missed the past three matches with a groin strain, but having completed two training sessions in front of Magilton this week, will be given until match day to prove he is fit for his return in what shapes as a crucial match.

The new coach sees Leijer's leadership as important to Victory's prospects of success on Friday and said the presence of the imposing defender will be a considerable boost

"He has been involved the last two sessions and we have taken him out. We will assess him in the morning and see how he goes," Magilton said.

"But he's a skipper, he's a leader and it would be a huge boost if we were able to get him out on the park."

The Victory playing group have been clearly energised by the arrival of Magilton, with Thursday's training session not only different in terms of its structure, but also the volume of the players.

"They are lively, and you'd like to think that's the first thing that happens when the new management comes in," he said.

"Training has been sharp, there has been a great tempo to it and they have all been very responsive."

While he only has 12 games left in the regular season to make his case for a permanent gig, the new boss is well aware that the early enthusiasm of his players needs to turn into an adaptation of their playing style.

"Communication is very, very important in this. I have a way (of delivering the message), they will take some time to understand that," he said.

"You tell them, you tell them again, and then you have to tell them again. That's part and parcel of the job."

One of the criticisms of Magilton's predecessor, Mehmet Durakovic, is that he wasn't tough enough on the players, especially after losses.

But despite his affable performance in front of the media, the Northern Irishman said he wasn't scared to give it to the players straight if needed.

"If you cross me, you'll know about it," he joked. "You treat people with respect, you deal with them with respect and then you go on from there."

Despite assistant coach Kevin Muscat's reputation among the playing group, Magilton went out of his way to say that the former captain won't be used in a motivational role.

"He'll not have to do anything if I feel there are things that need to be said," he said.

Magilton said he was well are of the strong rivalry between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide having played and coached in the East Anglian derby between Ipswich and Norwich in England.

He had also familiarised himself with the key moments of the Victory-Reds rivalry, including the two grand finals as Muscat's famous touchline bust-up with born-again Adelaide coach John Kosmina.