Mistakes annoy Merrick

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick said he was disappointed not to come away with all three points after the Grand Final re-match against Sydney FC ended in a dramatic 3-3 draw at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick said he was disappointed not to come away with all three points after the Grand Final re-match against Sydney FC ended in a dramatic 3-3 draw at the Sydney Football Stadium.

A quickfire three-goal salvo midway through the second half saw the Victory on target for a remarkable comeback win until an impressive equaliser from Sydney's Shannon Cole five minutes from the end restored parity.

"I think it was a typical first up game, everyone getting into their rhythm," said Merrick.

"The first half, I thought we had some good midfield play, good defensive play, but in the front third we weren't putting it together. We made some adjustments at half-time and it started to come together."

"I was really happy with the way we were playing. I just felt we made a couple of mistakes that cost us big time."

"In the second half we started playing our brand of football. We are a bit disappointed not to get the win actually."

"Sydney played good football. I thought it was a tremendous quality game. They are the champions and we have to challenge the champions this year and that is what we set about doing."

The Victory coach believes that star attacking midfielder Carlos Hernandez is still some weeks away from maximum fitness after suffering an injury during the off-season with the Costa Rica national team. It is a similar situation for midfielder Billy Celeski who is still on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury sustained last term, though his contribution off the bench was crucial in scoring the third goal.

With the return of Archie Thompson still a number of months away, and Robbie Kruse unavailable this week Victory's attacking options were severely stretched.

"We have always said that we need to get a high-quality ready-made striker up front," said Merrick.

"We can't go through a season without another striker so we will fix that. But we have to make sure we are diligent and patient so we get the right person."

"The worst thing we can do is sign the wrong type of player. We are getting close."

Mate Dugandzic played a pivotal role in Victory's revival scoring one and setting up another. The 20 -year -old fielded in a striking role after Kruse was ruled out with a hamstring injury late in the week.

"I haven't played striker in a while but you have to take every opportunity with both hands," said Dugandzic."

"With Archie (Thompson) being out and Krusey (Robbie Kruse) as well, I have been playing striker during training sessions and I have been enjoying it."

"I have had a good pre-season under my belt and I like to think this will be my season and hopefully I will be able to continue my form."