Postecoglou plans ahead


Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou has almost a full squad to work with as he attempts to balance the club’s busy workload of the next week, starting with tomorrow night’s clash with Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium.

Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou has almost a full squad to work with as he attempts to balance the club-s busy workload of the next week, starting with tomorrow night-s clash with Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium.

Massimo Murdocca (shoulder), Mitch Nichols (groin) and Henrique (suspension) are all available for selection again, leaving just Luke Brattan (knee) and Rocky Visconte (ankle) back in Brisbane nursing their respective injuries.

The return of the attacking trio is welcome news to Postecoglou, who will look to collect the maximum nine points from the three crucial matches to be played over the next ten days.

The Jets in Newcastle are first on the agenda before an almost 18,000km whirlwind round-trip to China to play Beijing Guoan in match day two of group stage games in the AFC Champions League.

Brisbane will round out their hectic schedule with a M1 derby clash with local rivals Gold Coast United next Sunday afternoon in the last round of the Hyundai A-League season.

“It-s a big week,” Postecoglou said.

“Last week was a big week too but it was all in Brisbane which makes things easier in terms of logistics and players.

“Having to travel, we-re taking 15 to Newcastle and 19 to China, then we don-t get back until Thursday which means probably just one session before we play Gold Coast.

“It-s going to be a pretty big week for us but hopefully we-ve planned well enough and we-re organised to be ready to go.”

Shane Stefanutto and Mohamed Adnan look to be the likely team members to drop out of the starting eleven against Newcastle with Postecoglou opting to rest his veteran defenders for later in the week.

The changes allow young defensive duo Matt Jurman and Jack Hingert to slot into the Roar line-up.

“I-m definitely planning to make changes between the three games, especially with the travel factor, it would be absolutely crazy for us to try and run with the same team all the way through,” Postecoglou said.

“We-ll make some changes along the way and hopefully for every game, we-ll have 11 fresh guys ready to go.”

The fixtures between the Roar and the Jets this season has seen each side come away with one win apiece, a 2-1 Brisbane victory back in November before a lone goal from Jobe Wheelhouse gave the away team the win at Suncorp Stadium seven weeks ago.

League leaders Central Coast Mariners kick off in nearby Gosford at the same time, with a win for the Roar surely confirming second place in the Hyundai A-League and top spot if the Mariners slip up against Adelaide United.

The sixth placed Jets will need the three points against Brisbane if they want any chance of playing finals football in the 2011/12 season.

Saturday, 17 March 2012
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar
Ausgrid Stadium
Local kick-off: 5:30pm
TV broadcast: Fox Sports 1

Referees: Jarred Gillett / Ryan Gallagher / Scott Edeling / Kurt Ams

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 21): Newcastle Jets wins 8, Brisbane Roar wins 7 (6 draws)
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 2. Taylor Regan, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5. Tiago Calvano, 6. Ben Kantarovski, 8. Jeremy Brockie, 9. Michael Bridges, 10. Ruben Zadkovich 11. Tarek Elrich, 12. Jobe Wheelhouse, 13. Sung-Hwan Byun, 14. Labinot Haliti, 19. Matthew Nash (gk), 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Ryan Griffiths, 24. Francis Jeffers, 25. Jacob Pepper, 26. Connor Chapman *two to be omitted*

Coach: Gary van Egmond
In: Ruben Zadkovich (returns from suspension), 26. Connor Chapman
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nil

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (gk), 2. Matt Smith (c), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Andrew Redmayne (gk), 21. James Meyer, 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald *two to be omitted*

Coach: Ange Postecoglou
In:8. Massimo Murdocca (returns from injury), 10. Henrique (returns from suspension), 17. Mitch Nichols (returns from injury), 19. Jack Hingert (promoted)
Out: Luke Brattan (knee – two weeks), Rocky Visconte (ankle – two weeks)