Victory going for broke

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick has demanded positive football from his battling side in Friday night's Grand Final re-match against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium and said a third-consecutive draw will not be enough to satisfy him.

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick has demanded positive football from his battling side in Friday night's Grand Final re-match against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium and said a third-consecutive draw will not be enough to satisfy him.

The Victory have managed just six points from six games this season, including successive draws against Newcastle and Wellington at home. They now embark on back-to-back road trips against Adelaide and Gold Coast and Merrick said this is not the time for the club to be playing cautious football.

"We're certainly not happy with the quality of football we are playing. We are not playing consistently for 90 minutes. I know we've lost players, but that's not an excuse. It's about tightening up our act, and playing a normal brand of attacking play and taking chances when they come along," he said.

"The two games on the road are certainly motivational games for us. We like to play against Adelaide, it's a great rivalry and they play their best football against us as well. Then to play on the road against Gold Coast is a terrific game as well. We're looking forward to the next two, but we want to get wins on the board."

Merrick's risk-taking philosophy does not extend to the medical room and he said that he is not prepared that captain Kevin Muscat is a definite starter, despite spending five weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

"Kevin trained really well all week. But some sessions were off legs. But we won't make a final call on him until tomorrow morning. We've brought and extra player over just in case and it will come down to how he feels tomorrow. The bottom line is it's his decision," he said.

"This week it's 60-40, he's pretty keen to play against Adelaide, I don't know why, he just loves playing against Adelaide. They are great rivals for us, Adeiade and we had the wood over them last year, but this is a new season and it's very important we play good quality football if we are going to do well again."

Melbourne won all six clashes with Adelaide last year, including a 1-0 win the Hyundai A-League Grand Final. It gives Merrick confidence to know that his side will hold no fears about the trip to Adelaide having won there twice last year.

"It's good to know that we've had that sort of success last season. This is a new season, and we've got to play consistent football for 90 minutes and tighten up our act in defence, create more and take more shooting opportunities. We're capable of doing that, and we're certainly going over to Adelaide with a win in mind, we are not going over there for a draw," he said.