Victory at a loss over poor A-League start

Melbourne Victory, last season's premiers, are struggling to overcome injuries and missing players.
Melbourne Victory, last season's premiers, are struggling to overcome injuries and missing players.

Melbourne Victory coach Marco Kurz concedes it's not just fans who are hurting after just one win to start the A-League season.

Last season's premiers have had a tough start to the season and after Sunday evening's 2-1 loss to Sydney FC, sit eighth on the ladder on four points.

Victory had seven players either injured or unavailable to play in the Big Blue on Sunday but Kurz was at a loss to explain why the season start has been so disrupted.

"It's not only the fans; we are disappointed. What's going on? I think a couple of reasons," he said.

"(Against Sydney FC) we missed seven players. We've never had the chance to start with our starting 11, our strongest squad. It's not good to look in the past, it's very important to look forward and to keep going.

"Hard work and belief in the comeback is very important for us at the moment."

International duty robbed Victory of Storm Roux, Kenny Athiu, Thomas Deng and Elvis Kamsoba. German international Tim Hoogland (quad), Matt Acton (shoulder) and Socceroo Andrew Nabbout (hamstring) remain sidelined with injury.

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but Sydney FC successfully requested it be moved to allow their Socceroos stars to play.

There was a request for the game to be moved to Boxing Day to allow representative players from both teams to play the grudge match but it fell through.

Kurz said he has no idea why.

However, there is one positive for Victory with Socceroos attacker Robbie Kruse playing his first A League game in more than eight years.

Kurz said Kruse will need a few weeks before he is able to play 90 minutes after months on the sidelines, his latest injury a hamstring complaint.

Victory will now play fifth-placed Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.

Australian Associated Press