Carlos lights up Merrick's night

Carlos Hernandez' super performance in Melbourne Victory's 3-0 win over Sydney FC on Saturday night earned him lavish praise from his coach Ernie Merrick.

Carlos Hernandez' super performance in Melbourne Victory's 3-0 win over Sydney FC on Saturday night earned him lavish praise from his coach Ernie Merrick.

Hernandez seemed to be in everything during the game, the Costa Rican not only grabbing his first goal of the campaign but also providing the assist for Rody Vargas' 19th-minute opener and setting up countless other goal-scoring opportunities for his team-mates.

And having coached in both the old NSL, when he was in charge of Preston and then Sunshine, and in recent years the Hyundai A-League with the Victory, Merrick spoke highly of last season's Johnny Warren Medal winner.

"I think he's one of the most outstanding attacking midfielders in that position that we've had in Australia," Merrick said of Hernandez.

"I coached in the old NSL and in this one (league) I think he's quite outstanding."

"He creates and he scores."

"There was one ball he received from our goalkeeper (Michael Petkovic) and it came down with snow on it, he controlled it, turned the player and knocked in a fantastic cross into the box."

"He's got such good all-round skills."

Merrick was also quick to add though that Hernandez would not have been able to perform anywhere near as well if there hadn't been such a fine all-round performance from the entire team.

"I think it was the quality of the players around him," he added.

"(On) both flanks Tommy and Mate were getting forward, (we had) two strikers up front that were causing problems and it gave him (Hernandez) a whole range of passing options and he played some perfect passes tonight."

"He can't do that job without having a lot of support."

"I think Carlos has played really good football from week one, I think he's fitter than he's ever been."

"It was just good for him to score, I thought when he hit the crossbar he'd be a bit disappointed but he kept at it and got his goal and he tried to steal the last one off Krusey (Robbie Kruse) as well."

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka, who had just watched his team fail for a 10th time this season to claim its first victory, was in no doubt why his team had been so convincingly beaten.

"I have to say that Carlos' performance was the key tonight, one of the main reasons they won," Lavicka said.

"Carlos did great, he was able to hold the ball and at the right time he was able to pass the ball through."

"He scored the goal, he had quick and hard-working players around him and they made trouble for us."