Melbourne out to attack

Melbourne is playing its selection cards close to his chest ahead of Saturday's Major Semi-Final against Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium, but one thing for sure is that Ernie Merrick's men won't be going there just to get a point.

Melbourne is playing its selection cards close to his chest ahead of Saturday's Major Semi-Final against Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium, but one thing for sure is that Ernie Merrick's men won't be going there just to get a point.

Merrick has included four players into an extended squad and admits he is keeping his options open ahead of the crucial clash with the Reds. However, he is committed to his side playing the same brand of attacking football which won them the Hyundai A-League premiership.

"Basically, we will have three players that are committed to out and out attack. We've been very keen to have midfielders that are attacking minded," Merrick said.

Merrick indicated Evan Berger would likely come onto the bench as an extra attacking option on the flank.

"I'll always have a fairly defensive player in there," Merrick said when asked who would be on the bench. "But it will have to be someone who has the capability of playing a very attacking game."

When asked if that sounded like Berger would come into the squad, a coy Merrick said 'Sounds a bit like him, doesn't it?'

Merrick will also encourage his midfielders to attack as well, in particular Nick Ward and Tom Pondeljak.

"Wardy's been doing a great job since he's been fully fit, he's only started in five or six times this year. He's very good from an attacking point of view, so is Tommy Pondeljak and they've got so much pace," he said.

"We've got so much pace on the flanks as well from the likes of Kempy and Evan, if it will be very much an attacking type line-up. I think we've got the type of squad which can go over there to score goals."

Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar has indicated that he may decide to change his tactical approach to the game given the Reds have lost three games against Melbourne this season. It won't change Merrick's approach to the game

"We've played teams that play three up front, two up front and one up front. We've been working on how we cope with different types of formation and really focus on our strategy," he said.

And in a thinly-veiled swipe at Adelaide's decision to recruit English-based Rostyn Griffiths into its squad, Merrick said the club would not consider bringing in an extra player in at this stage of the season.

"We've got 22 players available. I don't think some of those boys would be too happy if we bring someone else in. We're happy with the way we are travelling and that's what we are focussed on," he said.