Merrick pleased

Ernie Merrick has praised the fighting qualities of his side after the Victory came from behind twice in their 3-2 win against Adelaide United.

Ernie Merrick has praised the fighting qualities of his side after the Victory came from behind twice in their 3-2 win against Adelaide United.

Three second half goals to Muscat 55' (pen), 81' (pen) and Celeski 84' got the Victory over the line after Christiano earned a first-half penalty to put United ahead.

"To concede a penalty like that, it was pretty deflating," Merrick said.

"But tremendous character from the players to come back from behind twice and get the winner."

It was a gutsy performance by Melbourne after a disappointing 2-0 home loss to Sydney FC heaped pressure on Merrick-s team and saw them slip from top place on the table.

"We-ve been top of the league since round three, there-s only one week where we weren-t top of the league, (but) I guess when expectations are high every one expects a top level performance, " he said.

Merrick said the focus during pre-match planning had been on attack and pressure.

"We decided to really go for it, it was three points or nothing, we really played with three central defenders and pushed Kevin into a defensive midfield role and said to the other midfielders just go for it."

"We decided also to pressure the backline at every opportunity, we wanted to raise the intensity because we knew the Adelaide boys must be tired with their tremendous schedule and it worked well for us."

The much-talked-about lack of forwards was again a big factor but this time Victory were able to find a way.

" I felt we controlled most of the game and created a great number of scoring chances but when you don-t have players like Carlos Hernandez, Ney Fabiano and Archie Thompson you-ve always got to find new goalscorers and it was going to be one of those nights." Merrick said.

"But the boys never let up and we kept getting in there and it was a Billy Celeski toe-poke that one the game for us."