Brebner: Loss a timely reminder

Melbourne Victory's loss in Perth on Sunday was a timely reminder to the players that they need to raise their games heading into the finals, according to experienced midfielder Grant Brebner.

Melbourne Victory's loss in Perth on Sunday was a timely reminder to the players that they need to raise their games heading into the finals, according to experienced midfielder Grant Brebner.

Melbourne suffered its first loss in four weeks against the Glory, who overcame an early deficit to win 3-2. It could be a defeat which costs Melbourne top spot at the end of the season, but Brebner said it has reminded the entire squad that they need to continue to improve in the run up to the finals.

"We have to raise the stakes again, we have to lift. We have to build on what we've done. We haven't done half of what we set out to do yet. The hard work's still to come and we look forward to it," he said.

"We've come off the back of three good wins, whether it was on Sunday or weeks or months ahead, we were always going to lose a game. We've lost one, we've regrouped, we go forward and try to win the remaining games."

The match was played in 37 degree heat with Melbourne coming off two matches in the previous nine days, while Perth had an 11-day break between matches. But Brebner said that there was no point to try and find excuses for the below-par effort.

"I think by the standard we have set, we don't tend to use excuses. We were beaten on the day, we played well in patches, but we lost the game, we're still in a great position with two games to go to cement a minor premiership," he said.

He admitted that the club's poor recent away record against those teams outside the four was a concern, but with two home games to come against Central Coast and Wellington, this wasn't the time to seek an answer for that.

"I think this week is not the time to look at it, but at the end of the season, the playing group and the staff will look at it. We definitely feel that it's impacted our season hugely. We've beaten the bigger teams and lost a lot of points to teams outside the finals." he said.

"The league is certainly very tight. We've seen that on the weekend. It's certainly something we have to look at, if it's complacency or whatever."

Meanwhile, Brebner is hoping he can push his way into the starting line-up in the final two games of the regular season so he can get the chance to cement a permanent position in the lead-up to the finals.

"I'm desperate to get in the starting XI but the boys that played in the three games we won have done very well, they deserve to take their place in the starting XI. The four guys on the bench just have to bite our tongues," he said.

And he's expecting plenty of free flowing football in Friday's match against Central Coast at Telstra Dome.

"They always give us a hard game, they tend to be open games, end to end. But, we're at home and as much as we're coming off a loss, we're confident of doing well against them," he said.