Victory out to prove they've come long way
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou says Friday's A-League clash with Perth Glory will be a measure of how far the Victory have come since they were humbled 5-0 by the Roar in Brisbane last month.
The third-placed Victory host fifth-placed Perth at AAMI Park, with both sides battling the absences of key players.
Victory pair Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan as well as the Glory's Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite are on Socceroos' duties.
The home side regain Argentinean playmaker Marcos Flores from suspension but lose Sam Gallagher after last week's send-off, while Glory skipper Jacob Burns is also suspended.
"We've had to cope with this almost on a fortnightly basis," Postecoglou told reporters on Thursday.
"I guess the only difference this time is at least all the other teams are affected as well and Perth certainly are."
"We're confident we can restructure and cover the absences of those two. 'Millsy' (Milligan) and Archie (Thompson) have been really good for us."
"Marcos Flores provides a little bit more attacking quality for us. I'm pretty confident we'll be alright."
"Defensively we've got to replace Sammy as well so Petar Franjic will come in for Sammy."
"The last time we had a major absence like that was up in Brisbane and we didn't handle that too well (losing 5-0 in Brisbane on October 13). So it's a good test for us."
"Hopefully we've improved enough to handle it better this time."
Postecoglou brushed off concerns about the Glory's physical playing style.
"I don't know what too physical means. It's a contest," he said.
"If you're talking about will to win, we all want it."
"If it becomes too physical it's up to the referee to handle it. I don't think there's any team in the league that's too physical."
The Victory boast three wins and a draw from their past four matches, and showed plenty of defensive fight in last week's 2-0 away win over Western Sydney despite being a man down.
Postecoglou said he wanted a strong defence to be the hallmark of his side but again stated it was a work in progress.
"Last week gives them the confidence that when we stick to our organisation we can be pretty resilient defensively," he said.
"We know what we're going to get with Perth. They're going to be a hard team to break down and they're a pretty determined outfit.
"They're still very threatening up front."