Merrick takes positives

Despite the fact his side succumbed 2-1 to Adelaide United on Friday, Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick took a number of positives out of the match and was generally as pleased as any manager could be after a defeat.

Despite the fact his side succumbed 2-1 to Adelaide United on Friday, Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick took a number of positives out of the match and was generally as pleased as any manager could be after a defeat.

"I know we didn't get the points but it says a lot about where we're at and I thought we played some great football," Merrick said.

"I come away feeling really good about that performance."

Merrick was left to rue a poor start which saw his team concede a soft goal to Reds midfielder Paul Reid in the opening six minutes, Victory otherwise very much holding their own and at times controlling the tempo.

"I thought we started badly," he said.

"We sat back a little bit and conceded a cheap free kick (to Reid) which was strange to see go in the goals, but Adelaide had the better of the first 15-20 minutes.

"Then we started playing football."

"We re-organised a couple of things at half-time and felt we played some of our best football when we came back out."

"We had twice as many shots as they did and on another day I think we would have buried them."

Particularly pleasing for Merrick was the successful return from long-term injury of star striker Archie Thompson, who came off the bench to score Victory's only goal, after combining well with old mate Danny Allsopp in the 65th minute.

"We actually aimed to give him (Thompson) half an hour but we put him on five minutes early," Merrick said of the A-League's all-time leading scorer, who is a good chance of starting next week.

"Then we had four minutes injury time so he nearly got a full 45 minutes, a full half and we were very happy with that. Archie will be fitter and stronger (next game)."

"To see that combination of Danny Allsopp, Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse with Marvin Angulo playing some fantastic football, it was just a pleasure to watch actually."

"We conceded two goals so you have to hand it to the other team, but I'm glad we didn't play in a scrappy way, we played great football."

"Surat Sukha got game time and the benefit to us now is the nine-day turnaround. There's a lot of positives - it was a good hit-out and we played some great football without finishing it off."