Three games in eight days means a tricky balancing act for Brisbane Roar boss Mike Mulvey – but it’s one that he has his players and coaching staff well prepared for.
Three games in eight days means a tricky balancing act for Brisbane Roar boss Mike Mulvey - but it-s one that he has his players and coaching staff well prepared for.
The Roar have known since mid-December that their AFC Champions League qualifier against Buriram United would be sandwiched between Sunday-s Hyundai A-League away match to Sydney FC and next weekend-s home fixture against Wellington Phoenix.
“It-s a big challenge and one that we-ve put a lot of thought into,” Mulvey said.
“We-re thinking ahead, we don-t know whether or not we-ve got the legs in everybody to play 90 minutes in the three games - that-s a big ask, especially for Australian players because we-re used to playing weekend to weekend.
“All three games are very important to us and we-ll be treating them with the utmost respect and trying to get a result in every game.”
The week begins tomorrow morning when the squad travels to Sydney, before flying to Bangkok, then Buriram on Monday before leaving returning to Australia on Friday morning, before hosting the Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium.
But at Friday morning-s training session the focus was firmly on Sunday-s Sydney match.
Mulvey denied he had any special plans for his side to contain the Sky Blues- marquee man Alessandro Del Piero, who scored twice against the Roar in Brisbane-s 4-2 win back in round seven.
“He-s just like anyone else - if we can stop the service to him, that will probably limit his capability within the game,” Mulvey said.
“He-s very dangerous but they-ve got more than one dangerous player in their team.
“We-ll be giving them the respect they deserve, but we-ll be concentrating on our own game first and foremost.”
Brisbane will be hoping to bring the momentum from last Friday night-s entertaining 2-2 draw with league leaders Central Coast Mariners into this weekend-s game.
Besart Berisha bagged a brace - his first goals in three weeks - while new Dutch signing Stef Nijland impressed in his 30 minute cameo and the overall performance boasted cohesion that some would argue has been missing in recent weeks.
Sydney, who are level on 21 points with the Roar but are outside the top six, have been stung by suspensions and will be without Joel Griffiths and Terry McFlynn.
Sunday, 10 February 2013 Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar Allianz Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 5pm local time, 4pm Brisbane time. Referee: Ben Williams
Sydney FC squad: 1. Ivan Necevski (gk), 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Fabio, 5. Nathan Sherlock, 6. Jason Culina, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Adam Griffiths, 9. Paul Reid, 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 12. Blake Powell, 13. Tiago Calvano, 16. Joel Chianese, 17. Terry Antonis, 18. Trent McClenahan, 20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 21. Yairo Yau, 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Rhyan Grant, 26. Peter Triantis *five to be omitted*
Ins: Brett Emerton (returns from injury), Jason Culina (returns from injury), Yairo Yau (returns from international duty), Fabio (returns from suspension), Tiago Calvano (returns from suspension). Outs: Nil Unavailable: Pascal Bosschaart (heel - season), Kruno Lovrek (knee - 6 weeks), Joel Griffiths (suspended - 2 weeks), Terry McFlynn (suspended - 1 week)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theo (GK), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Stef Nijland, 11. Ben Halloran, 12. Julius Doe, 13. Jade North, 14. Steven Lustica, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Matt Acton (gk), 21. James Meyer, 22. Thomas Broich, 25. George Lambadaridis, 26. Corey Brown. *four to be omitted*
Ins: 15. James Donachie (promoted), 21. James Meyer (promoted), 25. George Lambadaridis Outs: 4. Matt Jurman (suspended - 1 week) Unavailable: Matt Smith (hip injury - 2 weeks), Henrique (groin injury - 2-3 weeks)