Kruse moves impress Archie

Archie Thompson has been more than impressed by the improvement fellow striker Robbie Kruse has shown this season and with both marskmen fit again, believes they can be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder for the campaign.

Archie Thompson has been more than impressed by the improvement fellow striker Robbie Kruse has shown this season and with both marskmen fit again, believes they can be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder for the campaign.

Thompson and Kruse have only played two games together this season, but the combination hit their rhythm on Saturday against Wellington with both scoring goals.

After missing the first half of the season with a knee injury, Thompson hadn-t had a chance to gauge Kruse's improvement until he played alongside of him in the past two matches. He likes what he sees.

"He's been fantastic this year. You can see with his training and the dedication he puts in. He's like a diamond in the rough," Thompson said.

"He's come here to Melbourne Victory after things didn-t work out in Brisbane, he's been the ultimate professional and he's got a big future. To play with him and see how he has improved is fantastic."

Kruse has scored an impressive six goals so far this season and the prospect of Thompson not winning the club's leading scorer award again is enough to motivate the experienced striker even further.

"He needed the headstart. That's why I did my knee, because it was only fair to give him eight-month headstart," he joked.

"I'm competing against him too, to beat him at top goalscorer, we-ve got this little thing going."

"But we're starting to combine well and he's playing some of the best football I've ever seen him."

Thompson said the goal on Saturday, his first of the season, had done his confidence the world of good.

"It-s been eight months since I scored a goal. I've been sitting on that 49th goal for a while and to get to 50 and finally get on the scoresheet, hopefully that momentum will carry me on, and I can consistently score goals," he said.

"I just want to keep doing that, keep putting myself in those positions and hopefully I can get on the scoresheet."

Thompson said he has had to be patient with his return from a serious knee injury, but the confidence in his body strength is returning.

"That first game was really about me, getting in there, put in a few tackles and see if the knee was right. Each week it-s pulling up fantastic. Now I'm on the scoresheet. Fitness is still a key factor that I still have to keep working on. I'm not feeling the knee at the moment," he said.

Fellow ACL victim Matthew Kemp is likely to make his return to Victory's team this week against Brisbane. Having done much of his rehab with Kemp over the past eight months, Thompson will be rapt to see him back on the field.

He thinks the club's improvement over the second half of the season will come from the fact that there will be quality players, like Kemp, Surat Sukha and Ricardinho, returning over the next few weeks.

"We have to start winning games. Players are starting to come back in and it-s going to be competitive and it's going to be good for us. Once we have them back, the standard can only improve," he said.