Merrick: Victory must maintain focus

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick says a change in the club's attacking mindset in Saturday's second leg of the Major Semi-Final against Adelaide could be the biggest threat to Victory's grip on a home Grand Final.

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick says a change in the club's attacking mindset in Saturday's second leg of the Major Semi-Final against Adelaide could be the biggest threat to Victory's grip on a home Grand Final.

Melbourne holds a 2-0 advantage from the first leg at Hindmarsh Stadium and clearly holds the upper hand in the battle to see who goes straight through to the Hyundai A-League decider on February 28.

But continuing with the same theme which he started when the whistle blew last week, Merrick said the club will not change its approach in the second leg and would be looking for a win.

"We've talked about complacency, but we don't believe there's such a thing as over-confidence. I'm a great believer in the boys being extremely confident for this game," he said.

"We're trying to focus on the game starting 0-0, and us not being ahead 2-0. As soon as your mindset changes from what it has been all year then I think that's dangerous. We are not playing for a draw or anything. We are going out there to score goals and win the game and that's the only way you can play finals football in my opinion."

While some may consider a two-goal first-leg advantage to be a little dangerous, Merrick knows that Adelaide has to come at his side, which could play into an in-form Melbourne's hands.

"Obviously Adelaide's got to come at us, and we play our best football against teams which come at us," he said.

"I would say that we are definitely playing our best football now and that was evidenced by the performance last week."

Carlos Hernandez is an unlikely starter with the Costa Rican not set to return to Melbourne from international duty until the morning of the match. Merrick is confident that Melbourne has got the depth to cover the influential midfielder's absence.

"We've got players who can play in Carlos' position, we've got Nick Ward, we've got Tom Pondeljak. Ney Fabiano is another option and then there's Grant Brebner, I've got lots of options. We've got really good depth and I'll utilise that," he said.

Hernandez's fitness will be assessed as soon as he arrives in Melbourne, and he could yet be named on the bench. He will be named in an extended squad which features the same 19 players as last week.