Merrick predicts action aplenty

Ernie Merrick is expecting plenty of action Melbourne Victory take on in-form Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Ernie Merrick is expecting plenty of action Melbourne Victory take on in-form Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Brisbane are unbeaten since their last meeting with the Victory five weeks ago and accounted for Central Coast Mariners 2-0 in a dominant performance on Wednesday.

Victory go into the game off the back of their own impressive win, a 3-0 demolition of reigning champions Sydney that has Merrick predicting an encounter to remember in Queensland this weekend.

“Brisbane are playing really good football,” Merrick said.

“I thought they really demolished the Mariners and it will make for a very exciting game because we beat them at home but they’re obviously a different proposition up in Brisbane.”

“On their own soil they seem to be playing pretty well. In fact I don’t think they’ve been beaten up at Suncorp.”

The 3-0 win over Sydney was Victory’s first since beating Brisbane by the same scoreline in September, but Merrick believes the team have been making steady progress nonetheless.

“I thought it was a pretty even game in the first half last time we played (against Brisbane), but in the second half we played our style of football. We played much more of the game in their half and we got the result because of that.”

“Against Heart I thought we took a backward step and that’s the only time we’ve done that this year. The forward line we’ve put together – and still with Archie (Thompson) to come back into it – it’s a pretty strong forward line that I think can cause damage to any team.”

“Our GPS shows that our boys are working really hard. We’ve got a very high level of fitness and we are making the most of it. It suits us when teams decide to have a go at us and then we have a go at them and it’s end to end. It’s exciting for the crowd and it’s the way we like to play as well.”

“There’s nothing harder than playing at home to a team that is out to defend and win a point … but Brisbane’s not that sort of team.”

While the performance of Carlos Hernandez caught the eye in the triumph over Sydney, Merrick believes the Victory’s creative Costa Rican has been playing at his usual high standard all season.

“Carlos has really impressed me all year. I just think now he’s got more targets to hit up front. His all round game has improved out of sight. I was just pleased for him that he scored.”

“There’s others who played really well. It was Ricardinho’s best game, Krusie (Robbie Kruse) is getting back to his best and Tommy Pondeljak just gets better and better.”