Merrick: It's good to be back

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick believes playing at Telstra Dome in five of the last six games of the Hyundai A-League season will be a huge boost for the team after a taxing recent travel schedule.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick believes playing at Telstra Dome in five of the last six games of the Hyundai A-League season will be a huge boost for the team after a taxing recent travel schedule.

Melbourne has been on the road for six of its past eight fixtures and Merrick looked happy to be back in familiar surroundings during a training session at the Docklands stadium on Friday morning.

"We've been to New Zealand three times this year, we'll (end up) going to Perth twice, Newcastle twice," said Merrick.

"To know that we've got six games, five of them at home, and have our crowd behind us, that's just great for us."

The third-placed Victory's next assignment is arch enemy Sydney FC at Telstra Dome on Saturday night in a contest which promises to have a major bearing on how the top four will look like at the end of the season.

The Sky Blues sit just three points adrift of Melbourne in sixth position and they won 2-0 the last time the two sides met in Round 9 at the very venue in which they'll be resuming hostilities this weekend.

It was one of Melbourne's more forgettable performances for the season and although Merrick conceded his players may feel the need to make amends for that match, he won't be using the poor effort as a source of extra motivation.

"I feel as though players should be going out and giving it (their) all every time," he said.

"The one game I would say this year where we really didn't put in as well as we should have was against Sydney."

"It was an unacceptable effort and it's all about getting out there (on Saturday night) and demonstrating our full commitment to getting the three points."

Merrick revealed that Sebastian Ryall will be the only inclusion to the side that got well beaten by Newcastle last week 4-2, but an omission was yet to be decided.

"Sebastian has really impressed in the youth team so there's a chance he'll start," he said.

"We've conceded nine goals in the last three games and as a defender who's been quite outstanding with the youth team ... it's pretty ideal to be able to bring a player like that in."

Merrick said that the squad is now close to full fitness bar question marks over Evan Berger and Steve Pantelidis.

However he wasn't prepared to rule out Berger from the blockbuster clash with Sydney.

"He had to come off at half-time (against Newcastle), he's feeling really good today," he said.

"I'll wait until after this session and see how he pulls up later."