Kruse not thinking about Asian Cup

He’s the Hyundai A-League’s top marksman, but Robbie Kruse says he hasn’t given much thought about next month’s Asian Cup.

He’s the Hyundai A-League’s top marksman, but Robbie Kruse says he hasn’t given much thought about next month’s Asian Cup.

The Melbourne Victory ace scored a brace to take his tally to 10 goals from 13 appearances and seal an inaugural derby triumph with a 3-1 win over Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park.

Such a quality display in front of 23,509 fans is sure to gain the interest of Qantas Socceroos coach Holger Osieck, who is on the lookout for striking options for the Cup in Qatar.

“I’ve never thought about that – I’m just happy playing for Melbourne Victory and doing my job for the team, what the coaches want me to do,” Kruse said.

“Personally it’s good to score goals and collectively the team played some good football, the last four games we’ve started to hit our straps a bit.”

Victory’s form has coincided with the 22-year-old’s rich vein of scoring form and coach Ernie Merrick admitted that the club may have to plan for a January without their gun striker.

“I can understand why he (Osieck) would be interested in the way Robbie’s playing,” Merrick said.

“We’ve got seven games in January and it would make life very difficult for us, but it’s also a good thing if anyone represents their country. We would have to manage one way or another.”

Merrick was delighted to bask in the glory of his first derby win over the Heart, a success that moved Victory back into the top six.

“It’s important to savour the night,” Merrick said.

“I made a point of saying to the players that the tendency with derbies is to get emotional and be involved in a hard, tough defensive match reminiscent of Rangers and Celtic.”

“Tonight was about playing a brand of attacking football and the boys did that to a tee. To see our fans, we had three-quarters of the fans in the stadium tonight, it was just fantastic.”

Kruse described the emotions associated with making history as the Victory’s inaugural derby winning line-up.

“After the last derby and seeing their fans, coaches and players celebrate, it took a while to get over it,” Kruse said.

“We went over and celebrated with our fans, to see what it meant to them was very special.”

The win moves Victory into fifth spot, but Merrick isn’t looking too far ahead, preferring to focus on their next clash against Perth at AAMI Park next Sunday.

“(Finals) That’s a long way off, we’ve got to get a few more wins before that, we understand we got the three points – but we’re not winning enough games, we have to focus on beating Perth Glory,” Merrick said.

Merrick was also delighted with the form of Thailand international Surat Sukha, Costa Rican Marvin Angulo and the continued progress from injury of defender Matthew Kemp.