Attacking pair back for Mariners clash

Brisbane Roar’s attacking stocks have received a formidable boost with newly-fit duo Massimo Murdocca and Jean Carlos Solorzano welcomed back into the squad for the first leg of the Hyundai A-League major semi final against Central Coast Mariners tomorrow night.

Brisbane Roar-s attacking stocks have received a formidable boost with newly-fit duo Massimo Murdocca and Jean Carlos Solorzano welcomed back into the squad for the first leg of the Hyundai A-League major semi final against Central Coast Mariners tomorrow night.

Murdocca hasn-t featured for the Roar since their Australia Day win over Wellington Phoenix while Solorzano pulled up sore following the side-s Melbourne Heart clash just four days later.

According to Head Coach Ange Postecoglou, both players are itching to return to the fray especially given the special nature of Saturday night-s match.

“They-re fine, they-re 100 per cent now,” Postecoglou said.

“They-ve had a good week of training and a solid session on Tuesday night and they worked hard which was good to see.

“(Solorzano) will be a handy acquisition in terms of being able to throw him and Massimo on at some stage.

“It is finals time; they all want to play now.”

Attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols is also expected to recover from an ankle injury sustained in last weekend-s local derby against Gold Coast United in time to retain his place in the starting eleven.

Ahead of the club-s third finals campaign, Postecoglou said he could feel a slightly edgier atmosphere in the training sessions leading up to the match but was confident his players could use any nervous energy amongst the squad to their advantage.

“The players are certainly looking forward to it, you can tell by the way they are training,” he said.

“There-s been a little bit of an edge in training and the intensity goes up a little bit.

“The biggest thing you notice is no one is saying they are sore, no one is saying they-re tired, they-re all feeling 1000 per cent.

“There-s no point in ignoring it or denying (any nervous energy), you-ve just got to try and use it in a positive way.

“From our point of view, as long as we keep our structure and our organisation in terms of the way we play, they can use that nervous energy within the way we play.

“I think they should be fine and once the game starts, those kind of things will settle down.”

No such nerves exist for Postecoglou, who is quietly confident ahead of his side-s match up with the Mariners given his past experiences with finals football.

He was a key member of the National Soccer League side South Melbourne when they won championships in the 1983/84 and 1990/91 seasons, wearing the captain-s armband in the latter season.

Postecoglou then moved into coaching and was at the helm when the same club won back-to-back titles in the 1997/98 and 1998/99 seasons as well as leading the team to victory in the 1999 Oceania Club Championships.

His accomplishments make him the only person to have been involved in all four of South Melbourne-s NSL title-winning teams.

“I-ve got a pretty good finals record as a coach and as a player too actually,” he said.

“I like finals actually, it-s obviously a lot easier for me than the players but I-m looking forward to it.”

When quizzed on who he believed were the Mariners- danger men, Postecoglou said his side needed to be aware that Graham Arnold-s team would pose threats right across the pitch.

“When I look at Central Coast, I don-t think it-s about the individuals to be honest,” the Brisbane boss said.

“They are well structured, well organised, well coached so I think it-s more of a collective effort for us to overcome.”

Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Local kick-off: 7.00pm
Matthew Breeze
Assistant referees: Ben Wilson Rod Allen
Fourth official: Gerard Parsons

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3, FS3 HD and Sky Sports 3 (NZ). Hyundai A-League partner is 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au

Central Coast Mariners: 2. Daniel McBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 24. Bernie IBINI ISEI, 25. Mitchell DUKE, 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk)
*two to be omitted*

In: Matt SIMON (return from injury), Rostyn GRIFFITHS (promoted), Mitchell DUKE (promoted)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: Brad PORTER (knee – four weeks), Nik MRDJA (knee – six weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee – season)

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 10. HENRIQUE, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK

In: Massimo MURDOCCA (returns from injury), Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (returns from injury)

Out: Chris BUSH (omitted)

Unavailable: James MEYER (toe injury 4-6 weeks)

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 20): Central Coast Mariners wins 3, Brisbane Roar wins 10 (7 draws)

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