Leijer: Don't write us off

Defender Adrian Leijer insists it's no time to panic despite Melbourne Victory coming off two straight losses and clinging onto their position in the top six.

Defender Adrian Leijer insists it's no time to panic despite Melbourne Victory coming off two straight losses and clinging onto their position in the top six.

After their win over the Central Coast - their fourth in a row and seventh without loss - it looked liked finals were guaranteed but consecutive losses to Wellington (2-0) and Adelaide (4-1) in the past week has left the Victory clinging onto fifth place, just two points ahead of cross-town rivals the Heart in seventh.

But Leijer is adamant his side can recover from their form slump starting this weekend in the blockbuster against fierce rivals Sydney FC.

"It's (finals) never a given … we had confidence because we went seven games unbeaten and that's where we have to get back to, we have to remember the things that got us to where we were at that stage," he said after training on Wednesday.

"We've had two disappointing results, but that gives us a good opportunity to look at where things are going wrong and things to build on and really make sure come finals time that those things are out the door and we're hitting our straps."

"The first year we won it we got beaten 4-0 in the last round of the A-League so it's not time to panic or anything like that, it's time to get together and really make sure these last six or seven games that we put in and secure our spot in the top six."

A major area of concern for the Victory in their two losses has been their defense with the team leaking six goals and they've only kept one clean sheet in their past 13 matches.

Leijer couldn't pinpoint why they were struggling defensively, but said that the week off to freshen up would help them enormously in Saturday night's match at the SFS.

"It's a collective thing, we have to defend better as a unit and I think the last two games it's been obvious that we've been flat," he said.

"Whether that's from the travel it's hard to put your finger on it, but I think as a unit we've been flat and that's where we've got to improve. (We've got) the week off now to freshen up and no midweek game makes it a lot easier."

"We've got a big month ahead of us and it's an important run of games into the finals and we need to make sure that we secure our place in the top six."

Leijer was substituted at half-time of last week's loss to Adelaide with an apparent groin complaint, but he allayed any concerns about the injury, declaring himself a certain starter.

"Nah it's alright, there's a bit going on in the left leg but it's feeling okay and I'll be fine for the weekend," he said.

"I didn't put my hand up to come off but that's the way it goes and there's bigger things in front of us."

With Kevin Muscat suspended for the match against Sydney, midfielder Tom Pondeljak is likely to come back into the squad, while Matthew Kemp and Surat Sukha are still sidelined with injuries.

Star striker Archie Thompson is back in training and is a slight chance to play in next week's third installment of the Melbourne derby.