Victory tread carefully with Archie

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick says every precaution will be taken with star striker Archie Thompson's comeback.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick says every precaution will be taken with star striker Archie Thompson's comeback.

The talisman is making a spirited bid to return from a hamstring injury for Victory's last regular season game against Adelaide on February 11, but Merrick explained he may yet err on the side of caution with the 32-year-old.

"It's always ideal to have a run before the big pressure is on, we're good at coping with pressure, but we won't take a risk," Merrick said.

"He might be available for 15-20 minutes and, if he could, then that would be first-class."

Thompson, who came back earlier in the season from a knee reconstruction suffered in the 2009-10 grand final, scored three goals in seven appearances before tearing his hamstring shortly after scoring against Perth Glory on December 18.

He may not be the only inclusion for the Adelaide game with Grant Brebner, Surat Sukha, Leigh Broxham, Billy Celeski and Carlos Hernandez also in the frame to return from injuries.

Merrick admitted it was a good problem to have, trying to fit them into a side which has won three straight matches in the space of seven days, including a 2-0 victory over Newcastle Jets at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

"For the boys it was their fourth game in 11 days, that's 11 goals in four games, three clean sheets in a row and we've played without a large number of players," Merrick said.

"Even Brebner and Carlos were out tonight in addition to Archie, Surat, Broxie (Leigh Broxham), the list goes on - three wins in a row is pretty impressive."

The Victory coach believes the nine-day break before the Adelaide game has come at just the right time for the Victory, who booked their place in the A-League finals with the Newcastle victory.

"The break is important, we've split the group into two, the boys who have played non-stop we won't see until Monday. They need to come back physically and mentally fresh, the other boys (doing rehab) will work with our support staff," Merrick said.

"We aimed to achieve a finals berth after 30 rounds, we've made it after 29 - it's (now) about producing our best performance in our first final because there's no second chance."

Victory remain fifth on goal difference on 43 points after Gold Coast United played out a 0-0 draw with Adelaide United on Wednesday night, but Miron Bleiberg's men do have two games in hand, meaning Victory is likely to travel to Skilled Park in the first week of the finals series.