No excuses for Victory

Melbourne midfielder Leigh Broxham says that his team's preparations for Wednesday night's AFC Champions League match against China's Beijing Guoan have been ideal and there will be no excuses if the Victory fail to win at Docklands.

Melbourne midfielder Leigh Broxham says that his team's preparations for Wednesday night's AFC Champions League match against China's Beijing Guoan have been ideal and there will be no excuses if the Victory fail to win at Docklands.

The Victory made a disastrous start to their ACL campaign, losing their first three games and failing to score a goal, but they are still in with a shot of qualifying after bouncing back to record a 1-0 win over Kawasaki Frontale.

Melbourne is still in last place on the table, but a win over Beijing on Wednesday will see the Hyundai A-League runners-up move to equal second place with just one match to play.

Their poor start can be contributed to their opening group games being played at the same time as the Hyundai A-League finals series with the team forced to play just 72 hours after losing to Sydney on penalties in the Grand Final.

Melbourne benefited from a full preparation last start when it edged out Kawasaki and Broxham, who missed that game through suspension, is expecting a similar result this time round.

"The first three games we've always come off the back of something … it's a bit of an excuse but that's the just the facts really," he said after training on Monday.

"We got a win last week and we had a good buildup and I think we've had another good build up again so we've got no excuses this time, we're at home and I think if we get a bit of a crowd behind us I think we can do a lot better than we did last time when we were in Beijing."

"We don't really change too much of what we've been doing because it's worked for us in the past. We've been a bit unlucky, we've only scored one goal but I think the goals are due to come."

"We're missing a couple (of players) but everyone else who is available can score goals so I think there is no more excuses … we're thinking of trying to get a few seeing as we are at home as well."

Striker Robbie Kruse, who suffered a leg injury in the final game of the Hyundai A-League season before returning to score a wonder goal in the second leg of the major semi-final against Sydney, echoed his team-mates thoughts and said that the extra rest has helped him physically.

"Having a bit more rest after games is way better … those periods there where we had to travel on the plane after the Grand Final really didn't help too much, but like I said it's not an excuse I'm feeling pretty good," Kruse said.

Defender Adrian Leijer will miss the game through suspension and Grant Brebner is also out with a hamstring injury, while midfielder Tom Pondeljak will be given until matchday to prove his fitness.

Broxham will return to the starting line-up in place of Leijer and he is looking forward to playing again after a disappointing finish to his last match when he was sent off in the closing stages for receiving a second yellow card.

"It's been three weeks now, missed one game and its sort of three weeks later. I was a bit disappointed with the way it went, but I'm just glad to be back this week with Adrian missing out, so just step right in where he is," he said.

"I think I've learnt from that as you do as a footballer you learn as you go on and I'm just happy to be back this week and not have to wait in the stands or wait on the bench."