Merrick focuses on positives

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick is far from panicking after Victory lost 2-0 to Perth on Saturday, pointing instead to the positive signs in the performance.

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick is far from panicking after Victory lost 2-0 to Perth on Saturday, pointing instead to the positive signs in the performance.

Merrick admitted that Perth had caught Melbourne out with their counter-attacking play but felt that the scoreline was not a true reflection of how the game was played.

"I didn-t think it was a flat performance. I thought our interpassing was very good. Our defence was rock solid. They had two shots on target of quality and they were goals," he said.

"We had 11 corner kicks and they had four and they scored from a corner. (Tando Velaphi) pulled off a terrific save in the first half from Surat, he pulled off a save at the back post and then Diogo's shot at the end."

"I thought we just didn't covert that quality possession through defence and midfield and you pay the price for that. All credit to Perth, they played a defensive counter attacking game and they got the result."

Despite the fact Melbourne has conceded five goals in the first two games, Merrick is not concerned by how the defence is performing.

"There's no doubt you don-t want to concede goals like that. I think we did pretty well. It-s easy to say goals against, obviously it-s the defence, but it's where you lose the ball in the first place and how the goal comes about from a set piece, but generally I'm happy with the defence," he said.

The club will assess the seriousness of Carlos Hernandez's knee injury over the weekend. The Costa Rican picked up a knock but was able to play out the 90 minutes.

"I hope that his injury isn-t too severe, but he got a pretty bad tackle, I don-t know if his knee is right or not," Merrick said.

Merrick said he was otherwise pleased with Hernandez's performance and fitness, given the Johnny Warren Medallist is coming off a modified pre-season and was having to play in a more advanced role.

"I think he'll be fully fit in two or three weeks, and I thought it was biog step up this week from last week. He gets a fair amount of attention. I thought he did a good job."

Captain Kevin Muscat agreed saying he wasn't worried about Hernandez's form or fitness and felt the Costa Rican simply needed more support.

"In his defence, it was exactly the same last year, he was scoring from 30 yards and no-one seemed to question his work rate. I think he was pretty good for us tonight, unfortunately we didn-t get enough bodies around him," Muscat said.