Sick Kruse gets the job done

Robbie Kruse took Perth Glory apart on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, grabbing a hat-trick in the 6-2 demolition under the closed roof but the visitors may have counted themselves lucky the hiding wasn't even bigger after he confirmed he had been sick before the game.

Robbie Kruse took Perth Glory apart on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, grabbing a hat-trick in the 6-2 demolition under the closed roof but the visitors may have counted themselves lucky the hiding wasn't even bigger after he confirmed he had been sick before the game.

Kruse came into the match with one goal for the club since his move from Brisbane Roar in September last year but he quadrupled his haul in his 12th game for Victory with goals in the 12th, 26th and 39th minutes after Archie Thompson had earlier opened the scoring.

Kruse was put into space by Carlos Hernandez for his first goal, comfortably rounding Tando Velaphi to double Melbourne's lead before tapping home to make it 3-1 following sublime passes from Thompson and Tom Pondeljak.

Kruse then became just the second Victory player to score a treble, after Thompson slammed home an amazing five goals in the 6-0 win over Adelaide United in the 2006/07 Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

But while the Queenslander revealed after the match that he hadn't felt 100 percent in the lead-up to the crucial match and 'ran out of legs' before coming off with 15 minutes to go, his replacement Marvin Angullo helped set up the final two goals to round out the rout.

"We've been working hard this week and straight from the whistle the first five minutes I knew we were going to put in a good performance," Kruse said.

"Our defenders were getting in front of their strikers and winning balls and our midfielders were playing to Carlos (Hernandez) and then me and Archie (Thompson) were making forward runs and that's what Melbourne Victory's all about."

"I think eventually they just started to back off and it just worked to our advantage."

Keen to try and make more forward runs after speaking to coach Ernie Merrick in the lead-up, and having also spent time with assistant coach Aaron Healey working on his shooting and watching Thompson prepare, Kruse was confident a big performance was just around the corner.

"It came together a bit tonight but it's been coming," he added.

"I've been getting into the right spots so it's just as soon as one came I thought a flurry would come so hopefully I can keep working on it and push forward."

While Kruse attributed the return to form to a return to the comforts of home at Etihad Stadium, Merrick was just as chuffed by his efforts not just in scoring the goals but also when the team reshuffled after half-time in reaction to a change in formation from Perth.

"Robbie just seems to get better every week and he's moved from being wide player to a more central striker," Merrick said.

"I spoke to him before the game and said that last little bit sometimes it's just opportunistic goals, be in the right spot, having that awareness of what's going to fall in the penalty box for you."

"He really did come of age as a striker tonight and it was terrific to see."

"(And) when we switched formations we changed Robbie's role defensively and his workrate was phenomenal."

"Adam Basil has done a lot of work with him and his fitness has just improved out of sight and he's putting in very consistent performances week in and week out and it's been great to watch."