Perfect 10 motivates Melbourne

Melbourne Victory striker Robbie Kruse believes the weight of recent history will be on Adelaide United's backs when the Reds take their unbeaten 2010/11 record to the place which has been a graveyard for them over the past four years, Etihad Stadium, on Friday night.

Melbourne Victory striker Robbie Kruse believes the weight of recent history will be on Adelaide United's backs when the Reds take their unbeaten 2010/11 record to the place which has been a graveyard for them over the past four years, Etihad Stadium, on Friday night.

Victory boast an extraordinary nine-match winning streak over the Reds, while you have to go back to October 2006, the night of the famous altercation between Kevin Muscat and then Adelaide coach John Kosmina, for the last time they tasted success in Melbourne.

While there is currently 11-point gap on the table between the impressive and unbeaten Reds and an up and down Victory side, Kruse thinks that recent record will certainly be playing on Adelaide's mind, despite the fact they have a new coach and several new players this season.

"We've beaten them nine times in a row. I've heard that in the media a fair bit lately. It's going to be the back of their minds," Kruse said.

"They are definitely playing some good football. We are going in as underdogs and they haven-t lost a game in the opening 11 or so games, they had a great victory against Wellington on the weekend. We-ve beaten them the last nine games, we-re definitely confident. Here at Etihad after a good win last time, we are definitely confident we can get the win."

While he has only been at the club for just over a year, that number nine, and the fact Melbourne have beaten them in two Grand Finals, keeps sticking Kruse's mind.

"I think we know we can beat them. Nine in a row is not a fluke. They have been playing some great football too this season, they are sitting on top."

Kruse will be key to Victory's hopes of bouncing back to the winning list on Friday, having scored three goals in the past three games and four in seven this season. In Archie Thompson's absence, he has become the most important striker in the team.

"I'm finally stringing some games together and finally scoring a few goals. I've only played seven games this season. I think that's my fourth in the row, so hopefully I can keep that going and keep scoring goals, that's my job in the team," he said.

"I'm a striker I get judged on goals. Personally, I'm happy with the goals I've got so far, four out of seven games. But in the end it comes down to the team, and if we are not winning games, it doesn-t mean anything. I'll keep working hard doing my bit."

Thompson's return to the team from a knee reconstruction looms large over the next month after spending several weeks banging them from all angles at training. He is expected to return in early December at the latest.

While Kruse is happy with his current partnership with Brazilian recruit Ricardinho, he eagerly awaits linking up with his idol again.

"Archie Thompson has been training and is training well. He'll be back soon and we are all looking forward to that as well," he said.

"Archie's a great player and great person on and off the pitch. He's a perfect role model for me and one of the main reasons why I came to Melbourne Victory. He's taught me so much, professionalism and the way he applies his attitude of and on the pitch, His record speaks for itself."