Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick does not necessarily believe his side will struggle for goals without Archie Thompson this season.
As the Victory prepare to take on South American giant Boca Juniors at Etihad Stadium tomorrow night, Merrick said he was planning to work with the attacking options he currently has and is confident those players are good enough to pick up the slack left by Thompson who seriously injured a knee in the 2009/10 Grand Final loss to Sydney FC.
“There’s no doubt we need to replace Archie Thompson who in effect will be out for most of the season until January,” Merrick said today.
“Having said that, I feel as though we’ve got, this year, a very strong line-up. We haven’t had to sign a bunch of players, in fact we’ve really gone out and signed some high quality youngsters and a goalkeeper to replace Mitch Langerak in Michael Petkovic.
“Our aim is to work with the players we’ve got. To have Robbie Kruse working up front and have the midfielders coming through and I think we’ve got a range of players who can score goals. Carlos (Hernandez) is not fit, he’s carrying an injury but there’s Robbie, we’ve got Tommy (Pondeljak), Mate Dugandzic and young Marvin (Angulo) so we’ve got a range of players and that’s certainly something to work with.”
A for the result of the match with the Argentine side, Merrick was nonplussed by what the scoreboard may show after 90 minutes, saying he would rather see a positive performance from his charges.
“It’s really not about the result for us, it’s about the performance and it’s about being really prepared to go into our first game against Sydney which is the Grand Final over again but to learn to play against this quality will be first class, not only for the players but also for me as a coach,” he added.