Archie rapt with Solorzano signing

Archie Thompson is excited about the prospect of teaming up with Melbourne Victory's new recruit Jean Carlos Solorzano next season and believes the competition for striking positions can only be good for the club.

Archie Thompson is excited about the prospect of teaming up with Melbourne Victory's new recruit Jean Carlos Solorzano next season and believes the competition for striking positions can only be good for the club.

Solorzano, who scored 11 goals for Brisbane Roar in the recently completed Hyundai A-League campaign, signed a one-year loan deal with Victory this week to bolster the side's attacking stocks ahead of next season.

Thompson, who admitted it was hard to see young striker Robbie Kruse leave the club for Germany, is relishing the prospect of playing alongside the Costa Rican, even if it means he has to work harder to keep his spot.

"I think he's a great signing. You've seen what he has done with Roar. He's come in and he is always in and about that goal area. It just adds a bit of pressure on myself and Dan (Allsopp) to perform," he said.

"The likes of him and Marco Rojas coming in, and Isaka Cernak and these guys, you have to keep playing well or these guys will come in and take your spot."

Thompson feels that Solorzano's style of play will complement his own style well and is hopeful of striking up a good partnership.

"He's always good to get 10-15-20 goals and that's great to have in any team," he said. "From what I've seen of him, he's an excellent target man. He also likes to get in the box. He mightn't set up a great deal, but the runs he makes off the ball brings players in. He'll be a great asset to the team."

Of more immediate concern for Thompson and his team-mates is next Tuesday's must-win AFC Champions League match against Tianjin Teda in China.

Matthew Kemp has already been ruled out, while Allsopp is considered unlikely as he recovers from a groin injury. Kruse will play after returning from Socceroos duty in Germany.

Despite Melbourne's current position at the bottom of the table, Thompson still believes that they can turn it around and get through, even though that would seem a minor miracle at this stage.

"That's what we are hanging on to. We still want to progress and I still believe we-ve got the players in the squad to do it. We-ve just got to believe in it. The supporters I hope believe in us, and I know that we are capable of getting through. We-ve just got to put some points together," he said.

Thompson revealed caretaker coach Mehmet Durakovic has been working on a new set-up for Melbourne featuring two-up front ahead of a midfield diamond. He believes it is the most effective way for Victory to turn around their recent run of poor results in the ACL.

"I think it opens up, people can come through the middle. We are trying to get the midfielders forward, trying to get some width and try to get some goals and get some stability back in the team," Thompson said.

The other focus for Durakovic has been fitness, which Thompson said had been found out in the opening two games against Gamba Osaka and Jeju United.

"A-League and Champions League are two different competitions and when you think of Asian teams, they are very fit teams. I think the games we played against Gamba and against the Korean team, you could see that match sharpness wasn't there. You may have been able to get away with that in the A-League, but you can-t get away with it at that level," he said.

"That's what we've been working on in the past two weeks, fitness and passing. I think the guys are a little bit sore, but they will be thankful come Tuesday."