He’s top of the A-League and his team are flying but an early season loss to Melbourne Victory still stings for Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey.

Despite an A-League season where very little has gone wrong so far, Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey admits his team’s loss to Melbourne Victory in October still hurts.

The Roar’s 1-0 defeat at Etihad Stadium in round three continued a winless run in Melbourne which stretches back to September 2008 and includes seven visits to the city to take on either the Victory or Heart.

Mulvey says that loss should be all the motivation his side needs at AAMI Park on Saturday as the Roar try to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the table following second-placed Western Sydney’s loss to Wellington on New Year’s Day.

“They’re a good opponent. They’re very mobile, got people who can hurt you all over the park,” Mulvey said of the Victory.

“I thought last time we played them it was a fantastic spectacle and it hurt me that we lost, as any loss does.

“We didn’t come out on the right side of the ledger last time. I want us to concentrate on our performance and hopefully be part of a great spectacle for Australian football, if we can get three points, that would be fantastic.”

The Roar will go down to Melbourne without young defender James Donachie, who was ruled out after failing to recover from a groin injury he picked up during the 5-2 win over Sydney FC on Boxing Day.

Mulvey was waiting until gameday to decide on whether he would pick teenager Corey Brown or former Victory player Diogo Ferriera in Donachie’s place.

“I’ve got an idea which way I want to go but I’ve just got to have a little think about it first,” Mulvey said.

The Victory, charged with bringing the game into disrepute on Friday morning following clashes between their fans and Western Sydney supporters before last weekend’s match at AAMI Park, are poised to bring Gui Finkler and Nick Ansell into their starting line-up.

Coach Kevin Muscat says Ansell could replace marquee man Pablo Contreras, with the Chilean unable to overcome the injury which forced him off during the 1-1 draw with the Wanderers.

Finkler is in line to make his first start of the season in place of youngster Connor Pain.

Muscat said the controversy surrounding the fan clashes before the Wanderers game and the subsequent spat between the two clubs as to who was to blame hadn’t hampered his preparations to take on the Roar.

“Our preparations started four or five days ago,” Muscat said.

“The football club certainly doesn’t condone any anti-social behaviour but from my perspective, I hope you respect that if the football club feels the need to release a statement they will do in due course.

“I’m not trying to be elusive but I recall a great game of football, because that’s what I was involved in.”