Archie: We're as good as ever

Melbourne star Archie Thompson has declared this year's Victory squad is on par with the all-conquering outfit of the memorable 2006/07 campaign.

Melbourne star Archie Thompson has declared this year's Victory squad is on par with the all-conquering outfit of the memorable 2006/07 campaign.

And the Hyundai A-League's all-time leading scorer, who netted his first goal of this season in the 5-0 rout of Newcastle on Friday night, warned the top-of-the-table Victory will get better as the weeks rolls on.

Thompson returned to the team and scoresheet via the bench at Telstra Dome against the Jets after a delayed start due to a foot injury picked up on Olympic duty.

The frontman was sharp as ever, though, despite being 'gassed in the first five minutes'.

While coach Ernie Merrick was keeping a tight lid on things in the post-match, Thompson opted to talk the talk.

"The second year in the third round I predicted we were going to win the league and the championship so I have been told to watch what I say. But, I tell you what, this squad is definitely right up there," Thompson beamed.

The striker was sent on in the 24th minute when integral defender Michael Thwaite succumbed to a rolled ankle.

Merrick's bold move reaped rewards with five goals from then on.

"I wasn't expecting to come on so early but we combined so well up front," Thompson said of his work with fellow forwards Danny Allsopp and Ney Fabiano.

"Fab's a great player. He holds the ball up well and brings players into the game."

"Also with (Jose Luis) Lopez winning so much of the ball, Billy (Celeski) has come on so much since the Olympics and (Carlos) Hernandez was just incredible."

"It's great to come back into a side like that."

Merrick said Friday night's showing was 'some of the best football we have played in a very long time'.

He praised the cohesive work of his three-pronged attack and the delightful supply it was provided.

"Dan and Archie have a great understanding, with Carlos it is improved and now Fabiano, he didn't score tonight, but what a game he had tonight setting players up," Merrick said.

"I think we have a good balance across the field, we've got some great players on the bench and we've got some youngsters."

The coach said his explosive forward set-up could be let loose again when Melbourne hosts arch-rivals Adelaide on September 12.

"The next game is going to be a blockbuster. It's against Adelaide and it is here (Telstra Dome)," he said.

"It's very tempting to do the same again and have that sort of strike force. I'll have a think about it and see how they shape up in training."