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Mar 1, 2012

Victory might have to start with Kewell

Melbourne Victory may have to start Harry Kewell in Saturday night's vital A-League match against the in-form Newcastle Jets, regardless of his fitness.

The Victory are hanging over the precipice in eighth spot, five points from the top six with four games left.

Kewell starred in the Socceroos' 4-2 win on Wednesday night over Saudi Arabia, but he also played the full game and can struggle to back up from mid-week fixtures.

Melbourne coach Jim Magilton said he will have to speak to Kewell and fellow Socceroo Mark Milligan about their fitness ahead of the AAMI Park clash.

But he admits Kewell is so important, they might have no choice.

"We might just say `sorry, you're playing'," Magilton said.

"It's a conversation we'll have and we'll reach the right answer.

"Every manager in the world has this problem when players are away on international duty.

"While it's a feather in the cap for the club and for the players it's a difficult one because when they come back you have to weigh up everything."

Archie Thompson also played on Wednesday, but unlike Kewell and Milligan he did not play the whole game.

Magilton stressed the need for honest dialogue between himself and the Socceroos.

"I'm thinking about a lot of things and I'm thinking about having a conversation maybe with one or two of them," he said.

"There has to be a certain degree of honesty in this as well and while every player, I would like to think, wants to play - and they do - ... we have to be realistic.

"We have to make sure we make the right decisions for the team.

The Jets are sixth and will start favourites after winning four of their last five games.

Melbourne's recent form is one win, a loss and three draws.

But Magilton said there are plenty of good signs and stress the need for his players to stay upbeat and confident.

"The positives are there for people to see ... they're gaining momentum," he said.

"We understand that Newcastle are a team who are on the up, they've had a couple of good results, they're a well-organised side with quality in it.

"We have to withstand what they throw at us and then come out with the quality we have on our team."

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