Home wins vital in ACL – Melbourne’s Merrick

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick understands just how important home wins are in the Asian Champions League.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick understands just how important home wins are in the Asian Champions League.

After a narrow 1-0 loss to Chinese Super League champions Beijing Guoan in Beijing on Tuesday night, Merrick admitted his side was outplayed and was not at all perturbed by the loss.

The Victory get their chance to bounce back when they host South Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa at Etihad Stadium on March 9 and Merrick is well aware of the importance of home wins in competitions like the ACL.

“We've only lost by one goal away from home, but the next game is crucial for us," he said.

“If you win your home games in this competition, it makes a big difference and we're still in with a good chance."

The Victory now get a bit of time off before their A-League major semi-final second leg against Sydney FC after a hectic schedule in the past week or so but when play resumes, they will be under the pump again.

"We've got almost a two-week break, so the challenge is to win the first game (Sydney) and that saves us playing another final," Merrick said. "The tough one is to play Seongnam two nights later.

“It's just a ridiculous decision how that can happen."

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