“You always want you best team on the floor but I love the way this group is competing without him at the moment and we have a lot of people stepping up," Vickerman said.
Melbourne knew this stretch would be among the toughest of their season and while they have started it with two wins, Vickerman knows fortunes can change quickly, especially as Illawarra has struggled in recent weeks and will be desperate to win at home.
The Hawks and Melbourne fought out a four-overtime marathon in the opening round in Illawarra too.
“Cairns was our first road game without playing overtime so hopefully we are improving in that area but I actually expect Illawarra to come at us with everything,” Vickerman said.
“They have had a stretch of games where they haven’t played the way they want to play and had a good week to prepare for us.