Fan favourite Ivan Franjic says the intensifying competition for places with players returning to the squad will be beneficial for the Roar’s run towards the end of Hyundai A-League season 2017/18.
Franjic himself returned to the squad for the first time in 2018 in Friday night’s 1-0 defeat against Newcastle Jets, playing a tick over half-hour.
French winger Eric Bautheac also made his first start since the Round 9 clash against the Phoenix, and with former Socceroo Brett Holman close to a return, the Roar’s lengthy injury list is slowly shrinking.
“The quality of players we have coming back makes a big difference. There are good players missing out now which is what you want – that competition for places,” Franjic said.
“More players are going to come back on board this week and next week. Eric Bautheac is getting some minutes back in his legs, as is Thomas Kristensen and I just played my first 30 minutes in a while.
“Once these players get even fitter, we’re only going to be stronger.”
The Roar now turn the attention to Thursday night’s home clash against the out-of-form Perth Glory. Kenny Lowe’s side are on a four-game losing streak with their last victory coming back at Suncorp Stadium in Round 12.
Brisbane were desperately unlucky that night after taking a first-half lead through marquee striker Massimo Maccarone, but Franjic says the side aren’t dwelling on past results.
“It was disappointing – there was the goal that was disallowed for offside that would have put us up 2-0 which would have changed the complex of the game. We also had chances to kill off the game and didn’t take them,” Franjic said.
“It’s in the past and now it’s just a matter of going out there on Thursday and getting the points.”
Despite falling to both the Hyundai A-League’s top-two sides in the last two rounds, Brisbane has created their opportunities in front of goal and will be hunting a more clinical attacking display against the Glory.
“We’ve played the two top teams and been unlucky. With a bit more cutting edge up front, we put our chances in and it’s a different ball game,” Franjic said.
“We have had the chances to score, we just need to be more clinical with our finishing. The belief is there and all our focus is on Perth Glory on Thursday.”
Hyundai A-League Round 17: Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory
Thursday, 18 January
Gates open: 5:50pm