Victory will attack

Ernie Merrick has promised all-out attack on Friday night as Melbourne Victory attempts to shore up its place in the top two on the Hyundai A-League table when it visits bottom club Newcastle.

Ernie Merrick has promised all-out attack on Friday night as Melbourne Victory attempts to shore up its place in the top two on the Hyundai A-League table when it visits bottom club Newcastle.

Melbourne is coming off two successive losses - both on the road to Wellington and Perth - but, unlike the Jets, have the benefit of going into the clash fresh having not played last weekend following the re-scheduling of its home match against Adelaide until January 6.

And Merrick also has the luxury of having a full squad to choose from with Evan Berger back from a hamstring injury and Carlos Hernandez again ready to start after having been used as a substitute in recent matches following his quad injury.

Merrick is also hopeful star striker Archie Thompson is over the knee soreness that kept him out against Perth, describing his chances of playing against Newcastle as 50-50.

But even if Thompson is again a late withdrawal, Merrick has promised Victory fans an attacking approach from the team on Friday night as Melbourne aims for three points to ensure it remains in the top two.

"We will go in with a very attacking line-up," he said on Thursday.

"We have added Evan to the squad and we are not sure who will drop out but I can assure you there will be no defenders on the bench."

"We want all three points and we will have midfielders and strikers only on the bench."

Melbourne's recent run of outs, combined with the fact the club did not play last week, means Queensland has joined Victory in equal second place while fifth-placed Sydney is only three points adrift.

But a confident Merrick says Melbourne is only looking up not down as far as the ladder is concerned, noting the team is still only one point off top spot and like league leaders Adelaide has a game in hand on the rest of the competition.

"We are in good shape, we have got no injuries so we are going in with a positive attitude," he said.

The Newcastle match will be the sixth away trip in the past eight games for Melbourne, which thankfully finishes the season with five games in six rounds in front of its large and passionate supporter base at Telstra Dome after Christmas.

"It (the recent heavy travel schedule) takes its toll but we will freshen up the team (by making some changes to the starting XI) and we have got boys highly motivated for this one and getting all three points on Friday night will really set us up for the run home," Merrick said.

Victory memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season are currently available from the Victory Shop, 236 Swan Street, Richmond, by calling 1300 GO MVFC or online by clicking here.