Brebner: No extra pressure

The recruitment of Harry Kewell has made no difference to the expectations within the ranks at Melbourne Victory ahead of Saturday's opening-round clash with arch rivals Sydney FC, according to veteran midfielder Grant Brebner.

The recruitment of Harry Kewell has made no difference to the expectations within the ranks at Melbourne Victory ahead of Saturday's opening-round clash with arch rivals Sydney FC, according to veteran midfielder Grant Brebner.

"We've always had pressure from the start," said Brebner after training at Gosch's Paddock on Thursday.

"Is it a little bit more because Harry's here? Probably not."

"You would have to ask him if he feels any pressure, but certainly the playing group don't."

"We're going into this season like we have every season."

"We're probably expected to win it, and that's a good pressure to have."

Brebner said Kewell had settled in well and made a 'massive' impact in his short time at the club.

"We've had players come and go at this club, but certainly none bigger than Harry," he said.

"After a two-month pre-season, to have Harry come in has given us a huge lift."

"The little things that he does that people probably wouldn't notice, his professionalism, the way he conducts himself at training, and there's just the passes that he sees."

"He's obviously a level or three above us in terms of the way he can play."

Brebner said that while Victory would be looking to make a statement on Saturday, their season won't be defined by the result.

The 33-year-old expects to line up in his customary tight marking role on one of Sydney's playmakers with high-profile recruit Brett Emerton the likely first option, or perhaps Nicky Carle.

"Whether it's a lot of goals or a lucky one-nil win, a win's a win and that's what we're going for," he said.

"We've obviously had some great games against (Sydney) and some good finals games and we seem to obviously draw them quite a lot in the first game of the season."

"They've put together a really good squad as well with a bit of attacking flair."

"It's going to be quite a balanced game but hopefully we can get one in the end."