Tiatto ready for return

Brisbane Roar stalwart Danny Tiatto says his troublesome hamstring feels “stronger than ever” but a place on the bench will be the best he can hope for in the Boxing Day derby a the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Brisbane Roar stalwart Danny Tiatto says his troublesome hamstring feels “stronger than ever” but a place on the bench will be the best he can hope for in the Boxing Day derby a the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The former Socceroo returned to training today after two weeks- work with the club-s medical staff in an effort to shore up his back and hamstring problems which have limited his game-time this season.

Tiatto said although he was confident he was ready to play, he had “no chance” of starting after the team picked up back-to-back wins last week.

“There won-t be any changes because you can-t change a winning line-up,” he conceded. “The boys have been doing well.

“The gaffer will start with the same line-up and take it from there.”

“That-s part of the game really. If the team keeps on winning you don-t change the team. That makes for some competition for spots in the team and it-s going well at the moment.”

Adding to the competition for Tiatto is Michael Zullo-s recent move to left back, where the 36-year-old made a career for himself at the highest level in England.

Tiatto said it was good for the talented left winger to gain experience in different positions.

“He-s looked pretty comfortable playing that position,” he said. “He could definitely do it long term.

“It-s a good opportunity for him to learn playing left back as well and see if he can pick that up because you can-t just be an out-and-out left winger in this time and era.”

Having proven his own versatility with regular appearances in midfield for the Roar, Tiatto will be eager to regain - and retain - his starting spot for the remainder of the season.

“I just have to manage it - sort my back out and sort my hamstrings out,” he said. “It-s a bit of an ongoing issue but that-s what happens when you-re an old fart.

“I-ve done all the right work with the physios and strengthened it so it-s feeling stronger than ever at the moment. It-s all feeling good and I-m ready to get out there again.”

Brisbane Roar-s match against Gold Coast United kicks off at 5pm this Saturday at Robina's Skilled Park (tickets here) and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2.