Kruse on front foot

Melbourne striker Robbie Kruse is hoping to break his AFC Champions League duck when Victory takes on China’s Beijing Guoan at Docklands on Wednesday night.

Melbourne striker Robbie Kruse is hoping to break his AFC Champions League duck when Victory takes on China’s Beijing Guoan at Docklands on Wednesday night.

Kruse has yet to score in the ACL this campaign, although Victory has only managed one goal – from the penalty spot – in four matches so far.

It seemed like Melbourne’s hopes of qualifying for the next stage were all but over after losing the opening three games without scoring a goal, but after a 1-0 triumph over Kawasaki Frontale last start, Victory can move to equal second on the table with a win over Beijing.

Melbourne also has a poor goal difference to contend with, but Kruse is hoping to lead from the front on Wednesday night and help get that stat back on track.

“You never give up until it’s mathematically over obviously if we win this game we’re equal second so anything can happen and we just want to go out there and put in a good performance for the crowd and for ourselves,” Kruse said after training on Monday.

“We haven’t spoken about that (Melbourne’s poor goal difference) as yet but obviously that is a concern … We copped four in Kawasaki so I think we need to get a couple Wednesday night and just see what happens from there.”

“I’ve had a few chances so I really need to score and do my part for the team which is scoring goals.”

Kruse also admitted he is still not feeling 100 percent with the leg injury he suffered in the final match of the Hyundai A-League season against Sydney, but he isn’t using it as an excuse for his performances.

“I’ve been doing that (using painkillers) since it happened in the semi-final so it’s no excuse … I’ve got to do my part for the team and when I get out there it feels alright but it has been a bit of a concern but I’m doing my bit and that’s all I can do really,” he said.

“It’s more in the warm-ups that it hurts the most but I’m not making that as an excuse … my form hasn’t been the best, I’m there to score goals and I haven’t done that so I really need to start doing that and doing my part for the team.”

Kruse will be Melbourne’s main man for the majority of the year with star striker Archie Thompson sidelined for all of 2010 with a knee injury.

The former Roar player said it’s been tough without his mentor in the team but he is still confident of getting a good result on Wednesday.

“It’s always going to be difficult he’s a bit of a role model for me … he’s a great player and a great person on and off the pitch, he’s really been my mentor since I’ve moved down here and it’s been unfortunate for him and for us that he’s been injured but we wish him a speedy recovery,” he said of Thompson.

“We started to get a combination going there and it’s disappointing it’s ended like this but he’ll be back bigger and stronger whenever he’s back, so we just can’t wait for that but we’ve got to deal with what we’ve been dealt so we’re just looking forward to the game Wednesday night and hopefully we can put on a good performance.”

“Of course it’s hard, he’s the best player here in the A-League I think and playing up front he’s a great player to play with, so obviously it’s hard to replace him but we believe we’ve got a more than capable squad and we’ll do our best.”