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Kruse to remain out of Melbourne Victory squad for North Queensland clash

Melbourne Victory will keep striker Robbie Kruse in cotton wool for Saturday's Week 7 A-League clash with North Queensland Fury.

The 21-year old has missed the Victory's past two matches - the 3-0 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday and last night's goalless draw with Wellington Phoenix - but will not be rushed back for the Townsville fixture.

Victory coach Ernie Merrick confirmed that Kruse would not return from a calf injury until next week when the club takes on Newcastle Jets away.

"I don't think Robbie Kruse will be available this week but the following week he will," Merrick said.

"I won't be making many changes (for the Fury), though we will lose Mate Dugandzic and we will lose Diogo Ferreira with the Olyroos, but we've got (Matthew) Foschini and Evan Berger and Marvin Angulo to come back in."

Merrick admitted the Victory's third match in six days will bring about fatigue but said the players had the mental application to cope.

"Fatigue has two effects - a physical one and a mental one - and if they can get up mentally, it will overcome the physical side," he added.

"We haven't been doing physical training (this week) - it's really been all shape, organisational sort of stuff, set plays."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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