Four days after a surprise recall to the starting eleven, Brisbane Roar’s Jade North says his team needs to show courage and spirit to secure a vital three points against Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night (7pm kick-off).
Courage was exactly what the defender showed in Saturday’s punishing1-0 loss to Melbourne City.
An injury to fellow defender Jerome Polenz in the warm-up meant North’s return from a groin injury was much swifter than originally planned as he slotted straight in at centre-back after three weeks on the sidelines.
With City now eight points clear in sixth position, the Roar cannot afford to drop points against eighth-placed Central Coast if they hope to keep their Championship defence alive.
Brisbane is still a mathematical chance of making the Hyundai A-League Finals Series but need to win at least three of their last five games.
But City can lock the Roar out of the top six if they can secure a minimum of eight points from the remaining 12 on offer in their final four games.
“We have to win, it’s a must-win for us every game now,” North said.
“We’re not going to take it lightly, we’ll put out the best eleven we can to win the game.”
Preparations for the Round 24 match were slightly disrupted this morning as Brisbane endured heavy rainfall, meaning the squad’s scheduled training session at Ballymore Stadium was washed out.
Instead, the playing group both trained indoors and did gym work at Bowen Hills YMCA with North confident the disruption wouldn’t affect their mindset ahead of tomorrow’s match.
“It’s happened to us before, but you’ve just got to get on with the job,” he said.
“It’s not ideal but we came to the gym this morning and got the legs ticking over.”
With the Roar announcing a similar squad to last weekend’s match against City, North is likely to back up in the heart of the Brisbane defence and said the groin injury that troubled him over recent weeks was no longer an issue.
“It was a bit of a surprise [to play on Saturday] but I feel good,” the 33-year-old said.
“I was playing all the way up until I got injured in Japan but I’ve been keeping fit on the sidelines.”
Thursday, 2 April 2015
Brisbane Roar FC v Central Coast Mariners
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Kazuyoshi Enomoto (JPN)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 8.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 16.Devante CLUT, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Lachlan JACKSON, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 34.Shannon BRADY, 36.Fraser CHALMERS (gk)
Ins: 34.Shannon BRADY (promoted)
Outs: 2.Jerome POLENZ (groin – 4 weeks)
Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (groin – 1 week), 10.HENRIQUE (knee – 8 weeks), 22.Thomas BROICH (ankle – 1 week)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Matthew NASH (gk), 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 6.Brent GRIFFITHS, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 14.Travis MAJOR, 15.Mathew SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 18.Glen TRIFIRO, 20.Anthony KALIK, 23.Isaka CERNAK, 24.Hayden MORTON, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Fabio FERREIRA ***two to be omitted***
Ins: 6.Brent GRIFFITHS (promoted), 14.Travis MAJOR (promoted)
Unavailable: 2.Storm ROUX (international duty), 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (hamstring – 1 week), 17.Richard VERNES (shoulder – indefinite), 21.Michael NEILL (foot – indefinite), 19.Matt Simon (groin – indefinite)