Melbourne Victory are hopeful that star striker Marco Rojas will be fit for Saturday's derby, but even if he isn't vice-captain Leigh Broxham is convinced the Big V have proven they can cover his absence.
Rojas, dubbed "The Kiwi Messi" has been brilliant for Victory this season - when not absent due to international duty or injury - with the winger having notched a goal or an assist in each of his six Hyundai A-League appearances.
The 25-year-old New Zealand international missed last week's 3-0 triumph away to Western Sydney Wanderers with a hamstring strain but Broxham was impressed with how Rojas trained on Tuesday.
"He did well yesterday, so hopefully he's training the rest of the week and then it's up to Kev [coach Kevin Muscat] whether he includes him or not," Broxham told reporters before training on Wednesday.
Without Rojas, Victory gave Max Beister his first start on Saturday and the German impressed with a broad range of passing.
Plus the striker had a thumping shot that led to the visitors' opening goal at ANZ Stadium, with Wanderers goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne only able to parry the ball into Besart Berisha's path.
"We've had players missing in all games we've played this year and the players that have come in have done a great job," Broxham said.
"You know, Carl's [captain Carl Valeri] missed games and we've had a good win, Mitch [Austin] has been injured and players have had problems throughout the year and it's a testament to the squad Kev put together."
Broxham paid tribute to Victory's improved consistency over the past month - they haven't lost in four games, while their three wins in that period have all come with clean sheets.
Victory could leapfrog Melbourne City with a win at AAMI Park this weekend, while their veteran utility highlighted the importance of knocking off the local rivals after a 4-1 derby loss in Round 2 plus Westfield FFA Cup elimination at the hands of John van 't Schip's side in October.
"We want to rectify those and the last time we played them was I think a competitive game and could have gone either way in the FFA Cup but it wasn't to be," Broxham said.
"We took some positives out of that and we obviously want three points come Saturday."
Victory have failed to win in the past four Melbourne derbies and another draw or loss this week would equal their worst run in the fixture.