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Dec 10, 2009   |  7:43PM AET

Merrick: We have moved on

Merrick: We have moved on

Coach Ernie Merrick insists Melbourne Victory has moved on since the club’s 4-0 debacle against Central Coast in Round 14.

Coach Ernie Merrick insists Melbourne Victory has moved on since the club’s 4-0 debacle against Central Coast in Round 14.

The Victory travel to Gosford to confront the Mariners on Saturday night with the harsh lessons of last month still fresh in their minds while having built a buffer of solid form – two wins and a draw – in the meantime.

“You’ve always got to put those games behind you, and to see us play at home the following game against Gold Coast and win 4-0, it just shows you what we can do when we want to,” Merrick said.

“The last three games we’ve only conceded one goal and we haven’t conceded any from set plays which is something we’ve been working on.”

Merrick confirmed there’ll be one change to the squad that forced a 1-1 draw in Wellington last Friday night.

Mate Dugandzic comes in for the suspended Nick Ward with Tom Pondeljak likely to be promoted to the starting line-up.

Merrick said he’s gone easy on his players this week following a ‘tough game’ against the Phoenix.

“We’ve done a lot more strategic work because, once again, we’ve had to change the team and it hasn’t been so physically demanding having played 56 minutes with 10 players and doing well to get a point,” he said.

“We had a player punched behind play and (the offender) has subsequently been suspended for three weeks and had the referee seen that, we would have had a penalty and they would have had 10 men because that was before our sending off.”

“So things haven’t always worked for us but we keep pulling out results.”

Asked whether he had addressed the standard of refereeing with FFA during the week, Merrick said: “I’ve got no comment to make on that.”

Merrick said his players were encouraged by their strong record in Gosford – two wins and a draw from four matches – while being respectful of a Mariners outfit that has scored six times against Melbourne this season without reply.

“They’re defending well and maximising their opportunities on the counter attack and they’re going to be very tough to handle at home,” he said.

“Their defence don’t concede much but we’re going up there for all three points so it’s really about focusing on how we play rather than worrying about the Mariners.”