Brisbane Roar Head Coach Warren Moon expects the Central Coast Mariners to offer a strong challenge as both teams eye second spot going into Wednesday night’s encounter at Moreton Daily Stadium.
Moon’s men came away with a commanding 4-0 victory when the teams met just two weeks ago, with Macaulay Gillesphey, Joey Champness, Alex Parsons and Masato Kudo on the scoresheet in Gosford.
But speaking a day out from what shapes as a crucial rematch, the Brisbane boss tipped a tight contest between two sides seeking prime real estate on the A-League ladder.
“It was a great performance from us in terms of how we wanted to set up in the game,” Moon said of the recent win at Central Coast Stadium.
“It probably wasn’t a true reflection of them as an opposition. It blew out a bit at the end but it was a very close game. We’re expecting another really tough battle against a good side.”
MATCHDAY GUIDE: Brisbane Roar vs Central Coast Mariners
Moon could call on a new signing in Antonee Burke-Gilroy, who trained with the team for the first time on Tuesday after joining the Club as cover for the injured Jack Hingert.
“He’s definitely a player we were aware of,” the Head Coach said. “When we did our scouting on Jesse Daley when he was playing in the USL in the States there was another Australian playing with him which was Antonee, so we were definitely aware of his qualities.
“We had a couple of good recommendations, from John Hutchinson who coached him over there and others, so we kept an eye on him.
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“He comes in at a time now when we need him and we’re happy to have him. He’s very versatile, can play a number of positions.
“Right-back is obviously where we brought him in as cover for Jack while he’s out with his injury, but he can certainly cover a couple of positions which is great.”
For 23-year-old Burke-Gilroy, a former Newcastle Jets player, Wednesday night could be a chance to get one over a side he’s accustomed to knowing as the enemy.
“It’s always good to play against old rivals,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a bad way to start it off, to maybe get in the squad and get some minutes. But we’ll see.”
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m happy to be here,” he added.