Brisbane Roar international marquee Thomas Broich has warned his team against singling out Besart Berisha for any special treatment when the former club favourite makes his return to Suncorp Stadium with Melbourne Victory tomorrow night.
Broich, who formed a special “Killer Bs”partnership with Berisha on and off the field during their time together at the Roar, said there would be no special plan aimed at containing the free-scoring Albanian striker, who has netted nine goals this Hyundai A-League season for his new club and is their leading marksman.
“We all know how dangerous they are up front so we need to focus on him (Berisha) as a player not as a former Brisbane Roar player," Broich said.
The German acknowledged there could be a lot of emotion surrounding Berisha’s return but has urged his teammates to concentrate on their own game.
“He joined Victory, he’s doing a great job there but we are focused on us now,” Broich said.
“Bes will never just another player. He always will have a special place in our hearts but tomorrow night he will be one of 11 Victory players.”
He said singling out Berisha or attempting to provoke him would be a recipe for disaster.
“If we try to do that and take the focus off our game, then I promise you we will lose. We will focus on what we are trying to achieve,” he said.
“They are a very, very strong side. They seem to be really fit, they seem to be confident. But we have just accumulated three wins in a row, we are playing at home, we are on the up too so it should be a really, really good game of football.”
Broich said he was “buzzing “about the prospect of four big games in the next 13 days for the Roar – Victory tomorrow , Beijing Guoan (Wednesday, 25 February), Perth Glory (Saturday, 28 February) and Urawa Red Diamonds (Wednesday, 4 March).
As the Roar chase a fourth consecutive Hyundai A-League win, Broich said the team could head into the tough program with renewed confidence.
“It’s not just the results, you look at our structure, our brand of football, there are many, many promising signs,” he said.
“We gained confidence in last few weeks and are looking forward to a really big game on Friday night.”
The Roar will be without in-form striker Jean Carlos Solorzano, who injured his hamstring last weekend, which could open the way for new signing Andrija Kaluderovic to make his home debut.
Broich predicted big things from the Serbian international.
“He’s got qualities. He’s got a very sharp turn. He’s a clinical finisher. I think he’s a very, very good player . . . he will be a great addition to the squad,” Broich said.
Kaluderovic said he was ready to make the most of a starting XI opportunity if he gets the nod from interim coach Frans Thijssen.
“This is a big game and I am ready to score goals,” he said. “This is what I am here for.”
The Roar squad also includes leading scorer Henrique, who trained solidly this week following three weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury.
Friday, 20 February 2015
Brisbane Roar FC v Melbourne Victory
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Chris Beath
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 34.Shannon BRADY.
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Nathan COE (GK), 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c), 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 13.Andrew NABBOUT, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Carl VALERI, 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 24.Scott GALLOWAY.
TV: FOX SPORTS 505 from 6.30pm; SBS HD & SBS One from 6.30pm. RADIO: 612 ABC Brisbane.