Brebner focuses on start

Melbourne midfielder Grant Brebner has said a strong start is important to achieving the desired result in Saturday's clash with Brisbane Roar at Etihad Stadium.


Melbourne midfielder Grant Brebner has said a strong start is important to achieving the desired result in Saturday's clash with Brisbane Roar at Etihad Stadium.

When the teams last met in Round 2, Brisbane twice led by two goals before Melbourne pegged the Roar back to secure a 3-3 draw in a thrilling match. Brebner said that Victory could not afford a repeat of that slow start on Saturday night.

"The slow start did cost us. We'll be wary of that and trying to come of starting blocks quickly ourselves and get back to winning ways at home," he said.

Both teams are coming off a win against highly-rated opponents, with Melbourne defeating top of the table Gold Coast 3-2 last week and Brisbane inching past Sydney 1-0 at Suncorp Stadium. It means they are equal on 12 points apiece, just one off top spot in a crowded-looking ladder.

"Personally we'd want to be out there leading by a good few points," Brebner said of the crowded look of the table. "You could probably look at the flip side and you say that isn't it a good thing that there is a bit of competition in the league. There's lot of fans up and down the country with a bit of expectation this year."

Brebner said the players took an honest assessment of themselves after managing just six points from the opening six rounds and that has helped turn things around.

"I think after the home games that we had, we probably had to get together as a group and get back to basics, and work hard at what we know we're good at as a team and what we've been good at over the last few years. I think over the last couple of games we've achieved that," he said.

Meanwhile, captain Kevin Muscat has said that the next four weeks, where Melbourne has three matches at home against Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide, as well as an away match against Newcastle, are vital to the team's prospects of defending its title.

"I think over recent weeks we've got ourselves back in terms of points. We've really stepped up our intensity. We find ourselves a point off the top going into some decent games. Being back in Melbourne here in front of our fans, we really want to take home some points," he said.