Healey: Freshness gives Victory an edge

Melbourne assistant coach Aaron Healey believes the 14-day break the Premiers have had heading into Saturday's Grand Final against Adelaide could prove a crucial edge for Victory in the season decider.

Melbourne assistant coach Aaron Healey believes the 14-day break the Premiers have had heading into Saturday's Grand Final against Adelaide could prove a crucial edge for Victory in the season decider.

Melbourne has had a low intensity build-up to the Grand Final in terms of match time, playing two matches in four weeks in the lead-up thanks to an international break and then a week off earned by their 6-0 aggregate win over Adelaide in the Major Semi Final.

Healey said on Thursday that the week-off heading into the Grand Final has freshened up the players and ensured they are all fit and ready for the biggest game of the year.

"It's a huge difference. It just allows the players to get the niggles they have out. After 22, 23 games, no player out on the park doesn't carry some sort of soreness or niggle. So it's great to be able to have players miss sessions last week, to make sure they are fresh and ready to go. We've had an outstanding preparation over the past couple of weeks," he said.

Melbourne goes into the final with a full list to choose from and Healey said there was unlikely to be too many changes to the match day squad. With the physical side of things ticking along well, Melbourne has been working on the psychological preparation, ensuring there is not hint of complacency among the team after such a dominant performance over the Reds in the two legs of the semi-final

"You can only draw confidence from the results. More importantly, the performances we've had. You can't bring anything else but that. But this is 90 minutes a Grand Final, history flies out the window when it comes to these situations," he said.

"Adelaide are a fantastic team, let's not beat about the bush, they are a good side. They haven't made the ACL and pushed us all the way through the season, if they weren't a good side. On the day, anything can happening. The coaching staff have looked at that with the players this morning and had a chat about it. We are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead."

Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar has been quick to suggest the Reds will go for a defensive strategy in the match, looking to eke out either a narrow win or success on penalties. Healey said that if that is the case, then his team's discipline in going forward is crucial if Victory is to break down the Adelaide defence.

"I think it's important that we remain disciplined. We need make sure that we are creative, that we make forward runs and forward passes, and get into the box," he said.

"How they play is how they play, we can only focus on how we are going to play and after the results we've had, we're confident with what we've got in our artillery."

Healey's confidence in the team's ability to score goals is certainly well-placed. Not only is Melbourne the most prolific attacking team in the competition, it has been 14 matches since Melbourne last went scoreless in a game.

Healy attributes the attacking power of this Victory side, which has scored three more goals than Victory's prolific 2006-07 team up to the same stage, to more firepower from the midfield.

"I think the big difference for us this year is that we've had goal-scoring midfielders. We've scored 11 or 12 goals from players from the midfield. When you've got the likes of Carlos (Hernandez), Nick Ward, Billy Celeski, Grant Brebner. All these guys have scored and a lot of them have scored against Adelaide. I think that's the key," he said.

"Everyone talks about Archie and Danny, and they should because they are fantastic goalscorers. I think this year our output from midfield has been fantastic."