Jim hopes for Derby turnaround

Victory coach Jim Magilton sees Saturday's Melbourne derby as a great opportunity for his players to show their desperation to turn around the club's run of form and resurrect their final hopes.

Victory coach Jim Magilton sees Saturday's Melbourne derby as a great opportunity for his players to show their desperation to turn around the club's run of form and resurrect their final hopes.

Victory, winless in four matches under the Northern Irishman, face Heart at AAMI Park, with a win a must if they are going to bridge the three-point gap to sixth-placed Sydney FC.

Having given up late equalisers in their past two matches, Magilton admits the confidence of his men is suffering, but he thinks the shock of Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Gold Coast, where they conceded a goal in injury time, might prove a spark to turn things around.

"I hope that my team come and show that they are ready to play and show the determination to get a result. Obviously (I want them to) play with composure and try and win the game," he said.

"I think they're determined. The sense around the club and the players especially, they are the most important people in this. They want to string a few wins together. It's probably a good game to come back into, the Derby. It isn't going to take a lot of motivation from me."

"It's a great game for them to show that they are still desperate to win games and have an impact on the end of the season."

It will be Magilton's first experience of a Melbourne derby, but cross-town rivalries are something he is well familiar with from his playing days at Ipswich and Southampton and his formative years as a Liverpool trainee.

"I'm looking forward to it, it's a derby. The supporters are looking forward to it. It's always the first fixture they look for, so I'm excited," he said.

"They are pretty frenetic, the derbies I have been involved in and the derbies I have witnessed. I don't expect any different. A lot of it is down to bragging rights in a sporting city like Melbourne."

Magilton is hopeful captain Adrian Leijer will be able to take his place in the starting line-up despite suffering a knock to the shoulder in Wednesday's match.

"We are going to assess him again tomorrow. He's in good hands with the medical department. Obviously the turnaround is pretty quick. We will see what he is like tomorrow afternoon," Magilton said.

"But he's the skipper and it's a derby and he wants to play."

Matthew Kemp (back) will also be given a late fitness test ahead of the match.