Merrick: We can cover Muscat

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick is confident that his team can cope without its inspirational skipper Kevin Muscat who is set to miss a month with an ankle injury.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick is confident that his team can cope without its inspirational skipper Kevin Muscat who is set to miss a month with an ankle injury.

The 37-year-old's injury in the final minutes of Sunday's clash with Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park was the only sour note for the day as the Victory brushed aside the visitors 3-0 to claim their first triumph at their new home.

Half-time substitute Tom Pondeljak opened the scoring for the winners soon after the resumption and Ricardinho and Grant Brebner followed up with goals of their own but Muscat rolled his right ankle charging forward in an attempt to win the ball.

Twelve months ago Muscat hurt a hamstring in the season-opening loss to the Mariners and didn't play again until Round 7, with his team picking up just six points from the five games he missed and the only win coming over the Fury in Round 3.

But this time around Merrick says his club has the depth to cover Muscat's absence, even though the veteran captain lifts his team when he's on the pitch, pointing to the fact that he had the luxury of bringing Pondeljak and Billy Celeski off the bench on Sunday.

"More concerning is our captain Kevin, he sprained his ankle," Merrick said.

"I think the initial diagnosis is he could have torn his ligaments in his ankle so it could be at least a month for Kevin."

"I think you're right, he was injured in the first game and didn't appear again until Round 7 (last season)."

"Also do you recall there was quite a few players out at that time, Kempy (Matthew Kemp) was in and out and young Evan (Berger) and Adrian (Leijer) hadn't quite signed for us ... but I think we've got the position quite well covered."

"But having said that he's always a big miss Kevin because of his presence on the field."

Striker Robbie Kruse is likely to miss again when the Victory play the second of three games in seven days on Wednesday night at home to the Phoenix - with the Fury to come in Townsville on Saturday night - having been a late withdrawal with a calf knock he suffered at training on Saturday.

But Merrick was also pleased with the way his team responded in the second half after the Roar had dominated play for the 25 minutes before the break.

"I thought we actually started off really well the first 20 minutes ... but for the next 20 (to) 25 minutes, that's when the Roar kept the ball really well," he added.

"They played fairly high-risk football, playing out the back and pushing numbers right forward and we didn't cope with the interchanging midfield very well but we sorted that out at half-time."

"The real pleasing thing (today) was a clean sheet."

"(We) defended really well, Petka (Michael Petkovic) was outstanding in goals when he was called upon, especially at the end, (he) took his crosses really well and the front third we're beginning to finish really well, (scoring) three goals (today)."