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Valeri backs Melbourne Victory youngsters to step up

Goal.com logo Goal.com 19-03-2017

Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri has backed the club's younger players to step up against Brisbane Roar, with the Big V undermanned in the international window.

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Amini ready to justify Socceroos selection

Victory will visit Brisbane on Saturday night without attacking midfielder James Troisi, who is away with the Socceroos, and New Zealand wingers Marco Rojas and Jai Ingham.

Striker Besart Berisha will also be absent after being called up by Kosovo for the first time.

It means just one of Victory's attacking quartet from their 4-1 win over Perth Glory — Fahid Ben Khalfallah — will be available for selection.

Mitch Austin is almost certain to come into Kevin Muscat's starting XI for the A-League clash with Roar but the other two attacking positions could be filled by youth graduates George Howard and Chris Theoharous.

"It's exciting and I'm happy for them because I see the way they train, the way they play and… they get their chance," Valeri told Goal.

"I know they'll take it because of how hard they've worked and I see it and everyone knows that around them. They come in full of confidence and it's just like playing with anyone there.

"I mean everyone in the team, who plays a certain position, works the same. Whether it's Jimmy Troisi, he sometimes works with Chris Theoharous and they do the same things, the same movements.

"So they'll embrace it and it'll be a great game for them."

Victory didn't play over the weekend due to the A-League's split round and will look to gain a mental edge over another of their potential finals opponents when they take on Roar.

Muscat's men crushed Glory in their last match after going behind early at AAMI Park, and Valeri has called on his team to eliminate lapses in defensive concentration.

"It's kind of been our problem because we've got an attacking mindset and we're an aggressive team, we kind of have that lapse and concede silly goals, and we all know it and we all try and prevent but it's just one of those things… I still think we could defend better, so we're forever looking to improve and I think that's a great thing," the skipper said.

"I mean, we're in second position with a good amount of points, so the fact that we're looking to get better I think is a great sign and a reason why this club is successful."

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