Victory's defence up for test

Mark Milligan is confident Melbourne Victory's defence can stand up to Hyundai A-league leaders Central Coast on Friday night.

Mark Milligan is confident Melbourne Victory's defence can stand up to Hyundai A-league leaders Central Coast on Friday night.

Victory are yet to snag three points since Jim Magilton took over from Mehmet Durakovic as coach, but the on-loan Qantas Socceroos defender believes last weekend's clean sheet against Melbourne Heart is a sign the back third is on the improve.

"We are aware of things and we are working on them and that's important. If we were oblivious to things and we thought that things were going along fine then that would be a worry," Milligan, who is on loan from Japan club JEF United, said.

"Keeping a clean sheet on the weekend gives us something to go out and defend against a strong Mariners team."

Milligan, a member of Australia's 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads, said he had settled quickly at his new club.

"Compared to most places I have seen in Australia the set up here is excellent."

The 26-year-old is looking forward to the challenge of facing the top side. It's a must-win fixture with matches against other top-four clubs Brisbane Roar, Wellington and Perth Glory to follow.

"The Mariners have always had the team fighting spirit and worked really hard," Milligan said.

"They are a very good side and there is a reason they are so far in front. They keep very good shape and a lot of their players are in very good form."

There is speculation Milligan will be shifted to the midfield to cover the suspended Grant Brebner but the man himself said he was preparing to line up in his regular position.

"If they need me to do a role there then I will do whatever but at the moment I am concentrating on that centre back position," he said.

"I don't think I have ever really been a box-to-box midfielder even when I played there."

"The last few weeks I have just been trying to get myself fit again."

"The first game was a bit of a struggle but I have got a couple of good weeks under my belt and I am feeling stronger and stronger each day."

Friday's match at AAMI Park kicks off at 8pm.