Following a gruelling week of travel, Brisbane Roar is now preparing for this week’s Hyundai A-League double header, hosting Premiers Plate contenders Melbourne Victory on Wednesday and Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.
After departing Brisbane on Easter Sunday, the Roar squad travelled to South Korea for Wednesday’s AFC Champions League match 3-1 loss to Suwon Samsung FC, before landing in Adelaide (via Singapore) on Friday morning ahead of last night’s 3-2 win over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.
The squad will arrive back in Brisbane tonight, fulfilling their recovery duties in the South Australian capital earlier today, and will train on Tuesday morning ahead of the first Victory match on Wednesday night (7.40pm kick-off).
Brisbane Roar Head Coach Frans Thijssen said the momentum of last night’s win – which brought the club’s Hyundai A-League goal tally to nine in their past two outings – would carry into Wednesday’s crucial home clash.
“Respect to the players, because it was a long trip – 15 hours there and 15 hours back and having to play a couple of days later,” he said.
“They deserved it after this week. It’s good for the boys, good for the confidence and I’m a happy coach.”
The Roar now finishes the Hyundai A-League regular season with three home matches, also due to host Newcastle Jets on Friday, 24 April in Round 27 but will travel to China on Sunday for a Champions League match against Group G leaders Beijing Guoan on Tuesday night.
However, the club’s immediate focus is on this week’s unique double header which sees the return of former crowd favourite Besart Berisha, who made 76 Hyundai A-League appearances in orange before an off-season move.
The Victory has scored a league-high 50 goals in 2014/15, but was held scoreless for just the third time this season in a surprising 1-0 loss to last-placed Jets at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
Brisbane’s task of keeping Berisha and his prolific Victory teammates at bay were made even more difficult last night when defender Daniel Bowles was unluckily sent off, earning himself a one-match suspension, with Thijssen already low on defensive players at his disposal.
Shane Stefanutto (calf) and Jade North (groin) missed last night’s match through injury while James Donachie is no certainty to start either following a hip complaint that saw him substituted in the 65th minute against Suwon midweek.
“The red card was very sad to see too,” Thijssen said.
“We’re already missing a lot of defenders and now we’ll miss another one”.
However, the Roar could welcome back Michael Theo for the Victory matches with the three-time Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year not including in the travelling squad for the last week as he is eased back to full fitness from a groin strain.
Don’t miss either match against Victory this week! Tickets for the matches on Wednesday and Saturday can be purchased at Ticketek. Please note: the 15 April match was a rescheduled fixture from Friday, 20 February. Tickets bought for this match are still valid.