Merrick: History counts for nothing

Ernie Merrick says Melbourne Victory's recent domination of Adelaide United counts for nothing ahead of Saturday night's Hyundai A-League Grand Final with the Victory coach determined to ensure there is not one ounce of complacency in the camp ahead of the premiership decider.

Ernie Merrick says Melbourne Victory's recent domination of Adelaide United counts for nothing ahead of Saturday night's Hyundai A-League Grand Final with the Victory coach determined to ensure there is not one ounce of complacency in the camp ahead of the premiership decider.

Melbourne goes into the game as the shortest priced favourites in Hyundai A-League grand final history, not only having beaten Adelaide in all five meetings this season but also coming off a run of form which has seen the Victory win seven of their past eight matches, their past seven at home as well as scoring at least one goal in each of their past 14 matches.

But while Merrick and Melbourne might have been unfairly accused in Adelaide of being cocky in the lead-up to Saturday night's grand final, nothing could be further from the truth.

"I don't know where that has come from," he said of accusations the club has been over-confident this week.

"Our players have been very humble and we have a lot of respect for the way Adelaide has played this year."

"History means nothing and although we have won the past five games against Adelaide, the ledger is square when the game starts on Saturday night."

"We have never spoken in a way that was arrogant but no doubt the boys have some confidence because of the quality of football they are playing."

Merrick says he is confident his team - half of which have previous grand final experience - will be able to cope with the burden of expectation that is on them on Saturday night.

"We have performed well over a long period of time and we have been top of the table more than half of the 21 rounds," he said.

"We are expected to win and the players have got to cope with that weight of expectation but that is something we have talked about."

Merrick said having last weekend off has also helped his players refresh for Saturday night's blockbuster at Telstra Dome.

And he hopes the fact that Adelaide - which reached the final of this year's Asian Champions' League - has played nine more matches than Melbourne this season may also help the Victory should the grand final eventually go to extra-time.

"It may be a factor because they have had a tough run-in because of the extra game (in last week's preliminary final) and certainly the week off was good for us and our players are physically and mentally ready to go," he said.