Merrick hails best win of the season

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick had plenty to smile about following Saturday night's 3-1 thumping of Adelaide United, a performance he rated as his team's best for the season.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick had plenty to smile about following Saturday night's 3-1 thumping of Adelaide United, a performance he rated as his team's best for the season.

Not only does the result - the club's eighth win in a row against the Reds - put Melbourne in the frame to top the table by the end of the round, it was made possible by the outstanding contributions of two bright new talents, youngster Mate Dugandzic and veteran Thai striker Sutee Suksomkit.

Dugandzic, who turned 20 last Thursday, enjoyed a dream debut, scoring twice, while 31-year-old Suksomkit displayed outstanding technical ability, a sweet left foot and an ability to take on and beat his man.

At his post-match media conference, Merrick paid tribute to Dugandzic's endurance, pace, defensive efforts and work rate before adding that he doesn't expect the performance to go to his head.

"We've found Mate to be very level-headed and I think he'll handle it," said Merrick.

"He's a very mature young man so I think he'll cope very well."

The softly-spoken Dugandzic said having his family in the stands for his starting debut made the occasion extra special, but he credited a season spent in Croatia with Dynamo Zagreb last year for helping to lift his game to another level.

"It was a fantastic experience when I was there and before than I was only a part-time footballer with the Melbourne Knights," he said.

"When I went over there it was full-on every day and when you have the ball at your feet you get better every day."

"That experience was really helpful coming back."

As for the big picture, Merrick said the win was 'very impressive' and ticked just about every box.

"The boys really wanted to atone for the (3-0) loss against Sydney and we really wanted not only to play good football but we wanted to score goals and win the game," he said.

"I think we could have scored a couple more with the one-on-ones at the end, but Eugene Galekovic pulled off a couple of brilliant saves in the dying minutes."

"It's hard to control a game for 90 minutes so when they scored there's always going to be that 10-minute, 15-minute spell where there's give and take, but we bounced straight back, we weren't going to defend the lead, we wanted to score more goals."

"I couldn't find a fault in the team anywhere. It was just a really good all-round performance and one that we've got to try to match from now on."

Merrick believes the efforts of Dugandzic and Suksomkit highlight the depth at the club which he said has never been better.

"The scary thing is we've got really good players to come back as well which will give me a tremendous headache in selection and that's the kind of headache I like," Merrick said.