Despite key Melbourne Victory players facing bans, coach Ernie Merrick will not protect those in the firing line. A-League rules state that a player who accumulates five yellow cards receive a one-match ban and several key Victory players are nearing their limit at a vital stage of the season.
Winger Evan Berger is only one caution away from missing a match whilst captain Kevin Muscat and number one defender Rodrigo Vargas are both on three yellows but Merrick insists that he will continue to start his best possible line-up available.
"We'll make sure we keep going right up to the finals," Merrick said.
"It's more important to finish in the top two than worrying about yellow cards . . . We'll put out our strongest team and we've got the depth and talent to cover any suspensions."
The Victory face Central Coast Mariners this Friday night in an extremely important fixture, knowing that anything other than a win will dent their minor premiership hopes.