Merrick: Gold Coast tougher ask this time

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick expects the Gold Coast United line-up his team will confront on Saturday night to be far stronger than the side the Victory accounted for the last time they played in Round 3.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick expects the Gold Coast United line-up his team will confront on Saturday night to be far stronger than the side the Victory accounted for the last time they played in Round 3.

Gold Coast are undefeated in eight matches since surrendering 1-0 to the Victory at Skilled Park in late August, and they've since bolstered their squad with the signing of striker Bruce Djite from Turkish club Genclerbirligi.

"All teams mature as the league goes on and if you're not losing matches you're improving," Merrick said after Thursday's training session at Etihad Stadium.

"Some of us feel as though we've had too many draws and they might be in the same category but that's the way the league is this year - every team's so close."

"They've changed their personnel a lot, but I'm happy with our squad plus we're getting some continuity."

"There'll only be one change probably to the squad now that Ricardinho is injured so we're turning out the same XI who are performing really well."

Merrick said his players were determined to build on the momentum from last Friday night's win over Adelaide United to achieve successive victories for the first time this season.

"We're pretty keen to back up and consolidate our win from last week," Merrick said.

"We played outstanding football, I thought, particularly in the second half against Adelaide."

"We outran them towards the end of the game, we kept creating fast-break opportunities and we had numerous goalscoring chances inside the box."

"That front-third area we seem to be improving every week and we want to make sure we don't let this opportunity at home slip."

Meanwhile Merrick said he doesn't expect Surat Sukha to be distracted by the public debate over his controversial tackle on Adelaide striker Matthew Leckie which will keep the talented 19-year-old sidelined for up to three months.

"Surat, with the personality he has, hates the idea of injuring anyone and he obviously felt for Matthew," Merrick said.

"Matthew Leckie, after the game, said that he didn't feel there was anything in it, the coach said the same thing so it seems to be more in the media that anywhere else."

"The referee and linesman who were right next to it saw nothing insidious in it at all and neither did the match review panel who never even looked at it."

"Surat is a very honest player and it was just one of those things."