Brisbane Roar Head Coach Mike Mulvey has promised his side will give “everything they’ve got” in Sunday’s round one Hyundai A-League match against Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.
Brisbane Roar Head Coach Mike Mulvey has promised his side will give “everything they-ve got” in Sunday-s round one Hyundai A-League match against Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.
After his first full pre-season in charge of the two-time champions, Mulvey has plenty to feel positive about.
His side managed four wins from four Hyundai A-League pre-season fixtures and recruited well in the off-season with Liam Miller and Matt McKay headlining the group of newcomers.
However, the Brisbane boss was well aware it will count for little if the team wasn-t able take the momentum into season proper, beginning with the Phoenix this weekend.
“We-ve used the time wisely, recruited well and I must say I-m very pleased,” Mulvey said.
“The boys turned up very, very focused for the beginning of the season and proof of that has been in the performances so far.
“No, you take nothing from the [pre-season] results but from the performances, certainly.
“You can-t switch it on and off like a tap but we-ve played games where we-ve been understrength, which has given the younger boys a chance to step in.
“I-m very pleased to say they-ve taken those opportunities and that-s improved the depth within the squad.”
With Wellington playing under new coach Ernie Merrick for the first time, Mulvey knows there is an element of unknown about their opponents who will also be without five players on international duty with the All Whites.
Missing players include captain Andrew Durante, goalkeeper Glen Moss and striker Jeremy Brockie while young gun Louis Fenton is nursing a shoulder injury.
“That-s a really good point - it is an unknown and Ernie is in there for the first time,” Mulvey said.
“It-s a new bunch of players and you-d imagine they are weakened a little bit through the loss of their All Whites who are playing with the New Zealand.
“Any team you play when you go over the ditch to New Zealand is very, very difficult to beat.
“We have to take into consideration the elements as well but we live on a ‘no excuses- policy and we-re going there with all guns blazing.
“We will give everything we-ve got.”
After the disappointment of missing out on last season-s Hyundai A-League Grand Final by just one match, Mulvey assured the players had put in the hard work throughout the pre-season to prepare themselves as best as they can for the 2013/14 campaign.
“One promise I made to the fans of Brisbane Roar at the end of last season was that we would remember the pain in the match against Western Sydney Wanderers and that would drive us throughout the pre-season,” he said.
“They-ve committed to it, I-ve committed to it and you-ll see the fruits of our labour on Sunday.”
Brisbane is almost at full strength with McKay the only player missing, due to Socceroos duty.
Captain Matt Smith will lead the side for the first time since January after recovering from hip surgery at the tail end of the last Hyundai A-League campaign.
Sunday, 13 October 2013 Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar Westpac Stadium, Wellington Kick-off: 5pm local / 3pm AEDT / 2pm AEST Referee: Tim McGilchrist Assistant Referee 1: Hendrik Hintz Assistant Referee 2:Ryan Gallagher Fourth Official: Adam Gehrig
TV Broadcast: 3.00pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 2 (New Zealand).
Radio Broadcast: 3.00pm (AEDT) Live coverage on 612 ABC Brisbane
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Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Reece CAIRA; 4. Luke ADAMS, 5. Michael BOXALL, 6. Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Kenny CUNNINGHAM, 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS, 12. Tyler BOYD, 13. Albert RIERA, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 24. Hamish WATSON, 25. Jason HICKS, 30. Jacob SPOONLEY (gk), 40. James McPEAKE (gk). *one to be omitted*
Unavailable: 1. Glen MOSS (international duty), 7. Leo BERTOS (international duty), 11 Jeremy BROCKIE (international duty), 14. Alex RUFER (under-17 international duty), 16. Louis FENTON (shoulder injury 3-5 weeks), 20. Lewis ITALIANO (GK, ankle injury 4-6 weeks), 22. Andrew DURANTE (international duty).
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEO (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA, 10. HENRIQUE, 11. Liam MILLER, 13. Jade NORTH, 14. Diogo FERREIRA, 15. James DONACHIE, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT, 29. Matthew ACTON (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS, 26. Corey BROWN, 28. Brandon BORRELLO, 29. Kwame YEBOAH *two to be omitted*
Unavailable: Matt McKAY (International duty), George LAMBADARIDIS (knee - season)