"This is a game we have to win. Beijing are on six points, we are on three. If we can win the game, we are equal with them, it gives us a chance,” Merrick said.
"I thought we did that well against Kawasaki. We didn’t give much away, but we always looked like we were going to get something out of the game.”
But Merrick is also acutely aware that some injury and illness woes will make life very difficult for his side.
"It’s been a good preparation, but we've had limited players, and now we've been struck with a virus (Carlos Hernandez),” added Merrick.
"We seem to get over one thing and we encounter another.
"We've got Leigh (Broxham) back from injury and suspension, but we lose Adrian (Leijer). But we just keep stepping up to the plate when we’ve needed to.”