Ward: We'll bounce back

Melbourne Victory is confident it has pinpointed the problem areas which contributed to successive losses to North Queensland and Newcastle and rectified them on the training track, according to midfielder Nick Ward.

Melbourne Victory is confident it has pinpointed the problem areas which contributed to successive losses to North Queensland and Newcastle and rectified them on the training track, according to midfielder Nick Ward.

The Victory have dropped to third on the Hyundai A-League table, albeit with a game in hand, following Gold Coast's 2-0 win over the Jets on Wednesday evening.

As if stung by his team's mini-slump, a fired-up Ernie Merrick didn't spare his players feelings on the training track at Monash University on Thursday morning ahead of Saturday's Round 22 clash with Perth Glory at Etihad Stadium.

Speaking after training, Ward said the coach's approach has been to build up rather than knock down.

"He hasn't been savage, we just go through our normal routine," said Ward.

"We have a meeting and go through the game just as we do with every other game and pick through the bits that we need to and go out on the track and fix it out there."

Ward said the coaching staff had identified a number of areas relating to the Victory's tactical and physical preparation that had a major bearing on the team's recent results generally, and the 2-3 loss to the Jets in particular.

"Physically we weren't as sharp as we were in the Sydney game and mentally we didn't play right - as a team we didn't do it as a unit," he said.

"And structurally we weren't sound enough, we were too stretched out."

"The defence was too deep and the forward line, probably we weren't closing down the right men and there was too much of a gap between us."

"That's where we were being picked apart."

"We'll definitely be making it right this weekend."

Ward said the Victory's drop to third on the A-League table hadn't rated a mention in the locker room and insisted the club was still on course for a top-two finish.

He said he was looking forward to taking on his former team on Saturday but warned that the Glory, whom he rates as one of the most improved teams in the competition, will be a handful.

"I'm from Perth and personally I don't think I've played so well against them when we've gone and played in Perth which is something I want to make better," he said.

"But it will be nice to play against my mates and beat them."

"I think it's good having the game in hand and especially with the three home games we've got (against Perth, Adelaide and Wellington)."

"I don't think it adds pressure to us, we're still in amongst it."

"If we win our games at home, then we've got two games against the top two teams, there's every chance of us winning the league."

Asked about the prospect that Danny Allsopp could return to the Victory after being cut by his club in Qatar, Ward said: "Danny's a great player and if he comes back it would be great for us, we would love to have him back, but that's his stuff over there - I don't know what's going on."