Merrick pens new deal

Melbourne Victory has re-signed coach Ernie Merrick for another two years, the two-time championship-winning mentor committing to the club until at least the end of the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season.

Melbourne Victory has re-signed coach Ernie Merrick for another two years, the two-time championship-winning mentor committing to the club until at least the end of the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season.

Due to come out of contract at season's end, Merrick and the club finalised the new deal that will mean he takes charge of Victory for its first seven seasons in the Hyundai A-League.

One of just two men still at the helm since the opening season of the competition, the other being his fellow Scot Lawrie McKinna, Merrick was delighted to put pen to paper even if it came 24 hours before his men went down 4-0 at Etihad Stadium to McKinna's Central Coast Mariners.

"This club has been terrific, we've had success, we want more success," Merrick said after the announcement.

"(But) we want to build a bigger, stronger, better team."

"We've got seven players 21 and under but we've got to perform better at home."

"It was a great honour to stay at what has been the most successful club and the board have been fantastic in support of the football program."

"(I'm) really disappointed about the result tonight but it's about going forward from here."

Melbourne Victory chairman Geoff Lord was just as pleased to lock Merrick away as the club looks to build on its impressive success rate in the first four seasons of the Hyundai A-League, citing the example of Manchester United and it's long-time manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"Tonight we're very honoured to extend Ernie's contract for another two years," Lord said.

"Taking tonight totally out of the equation, Ernie's been coach now for four-and-a-half years."

"We think he's done an outstanding job for the club, his record is the best winning, win-loss ratio of any coach in the A-League ... and we're very pleased to go forward again with Ernie."

"He has more than deserved his opportunity and our attitude is to keep looking at it and we hope he'll be around as long as Alex Ferguson, providing of course he keeps winning."

"We're very keen to be the most successful club both on and off the field."

"Ernie's always expressed his interest and desire to stay with the club providing we're all travelling in the right direction and we've always expressed our support for Ernie so I don't think it's been a big issue (the negotiation process)."

As for the result itself, when Melbourne trailed 1-0 at the break and then conceded three more goals in nine minutes in the second half, Merrick and defender Rody Vargas were bitterly disappointed.

"It was a very disappointing game," Merrick said.

"We've lost two out of the last 10 and both of them have been here and we've conceded seven goals and not scored any and that's extremely disappointing for our supporters."

"I got a feeling in the first 10 or 15 minutes of the game that they were up for it and we weren't."

"They were first to the ball, they were scrapping for everything."

Added Vargas: "We spoke after the game and (said) it was like a schoolyard, a Year 12 bullying a Year 10."

"We just got bullied out there and we had no fight and we threw the towel in and that's not what Melbourne Victory stand for. We know we expect much more out of ourselves."

"It (inexperience) might have been (a factor) but we're probably one of the oldest teams in the league."

"We've got enough players to be able to push the younger boys along."

"I just think we weren't up for the fight tonight. Everyone knows Central Coast is up for a battle and we weren't up for the battle tonight, we lost the battle and we lost the game."