Merrick craves consistency

Ernie Merrick believes Melbourne Victory must start to record regular wins in order to guarantee their place in the A-League finals, starting with Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night.

Ernie Merrick believes Melbourne Victory must start to record regular wins in order to guarantee their place in the A-League finals, starting with Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night.

The Victory have performed well below their usual standards so far this season, and have only won once in their last four, with a 2-2 draw against the Central Coast Mariners last time out coming after successive defeats at the hands of Perth Glory and Gold Coast United.

Merrick accepts that Victory are out of the race to claim a double chance, and the focus for his side must now be to string together enough wins to secure a place in the top six.

"We've not only got to start winning, but we have to win consistently to make sure we get in the finals," Merrick said.

"We can't just have a win here or there, whether it's home or away from home. Away from home it's important that we play the type of football that delivers results."

"I think we've done that pretty well in defence and midfield, but we've had problems up in the front third finishing things off."

"Even against the Mariners (we) dominated possession, got lots of scoring chances - and we're creating them - just unable to finish."

"Knowing that this is the second time that Robbie (Kruse) and Archie (Thompson) have started together, I think we're getting a bit of consistency and we're being quite creative up front now."

With marquee forward Thompson only now returning to the team following a long-term rehabilitation, Merrick has been unable to field his preferred frontline until midway through the season.

The absence of a settled attack has cost the Victory, but Merrick is confident that having all of his players back and firing will enable to the team to put a run together, beginning with the trip to Wellington.

"It's about winning consistently now and I think we've got the fire power up front," Merrick said.

"Carlos (Hernandez) needs more than one target, he now has a minimum of two."

"But we've been working on Marvin Angulo and Billy Celeski getting into forward positions, although a bit wider than the central two. Having the quality of those four players makes a big difference."

"Our game is defined by two or three moments when there is a clear opportunity on goal and the strikers who take those are worth a lot of money.

"We need to get those sorts of players full of confidence and think we're heading in the right direction."