Victory looks to add firepower

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick is already looking to the next Hyundai A-League season, saying the club needs to find some firepower up front to replace the loss of Archie Thompson.

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick is already looking to the next Hyundai A-League season, saying the club needs to find some firepower up front to replace the loss of Archie Thompson.

Thompson ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in last Saturday's Grand Final defeat and the impact of his absence was felt as Melbourne was beaten 4-0 by Kawasaki Frontale in the AFC Champions League.

With the star striker out until at least the start of 2011, Merrick admits he has concern about Melbourne's ability to score without Thompson up front.

"You have to score goals and we weren't able to do that," he said after Wednesday's match. "There's no doubt we need to look at signing strikers first and foremost - certainly one, maybe two quality strikers."

"They're not easy to find but that's what we'll be doing."

The club will canvas both overseas and local options in the next few months, with Merrick having preference for a locally-based marksman.

"I am trying to sign a couple of overseas players, but if I can find an Australian he'd certainly get priority over an overseas player," he said.

"At this stage we're certainly looking for one overseas, attacking-type player, and an Australian as well."

Merrick said that tight scheduling had made Melbourne's task of performing at its best in the ACL very difficult but he wasn't using fatigue as an excuse for a below-par performance on Wednesday.

"No matter what sort of build-up we have had, there is simply no excuse for conceding three goals in 21 minutes," he said. "They completely dominated the first half and we were made to look second rate."