Merrick unfazed by Kruse's contract

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick says he's comfortable with Robbie Kruse's decision to put off his contractual talks with the club until the end of the season.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick says he's comfortable with Robbie Kruse's decision to put off his contractual talks with the club until the end of the season.

Kruse, the Hyundai A-League's leading scorer this season with 10 goals, is bound to have attracted interest from overseas with his recent scoring hot streak including five goals in his past three outings.

Asked after training on Friday whether he was worried about losing Kruse at the end of the season, Merrick said: "I think you have to respect his wishes."

"He's been fantastic for us since he's arrived, he's obviously a very important part of our team and we'd love to retain his services."

"If he doesn't want to negotiate until the end of the season we'll respect that and we'll work hard at the end of the season to retain his services."

Kruse said that delaying his contractual talks would leave him free to focus on the task at hand.

"I want to wait until the end of the season to sort my future out," said Kruse.

"I just want to concentrate on playing for Melbourne Victory, to keep scoring goals, that's my job for the team."

"I'm happy here at Melbourne Victory, the coaching staff and everyone have been excellent to me and so have the players, they're really welcomed me."

Asked whether he was interested in moving offshore, the 22-year-old said: "All young players want to go overseas at some point in their careers."

"Whether they're good enough is the question."

"Whether it's next year or in five years or never I don't know that."

"All I can do is keep playing good football, hopefully keep scoring and doing my job."

Named earlier this week in Australia's extended squad for next month's Asian Cup, Kruse said he was not getting ahead of himself.

"To be put in the team with the calibre of the players that are in there would be massive," he said.

"To train with them and to learn off them would be huge but I'm just happy to be recognised in the 50."

"There's a lot of great players in there and if future honours come then I'd be happy."

Merrick said that while Kruse and fellow striker Archie Thompson would be difficult to replace should they happen to make the final squad, they both deserve their nominations.

"It's important they play for the Socceroos and we'd manage," Merrick said.