Two days after their disappointing AFC Champions League opener, Brisbane Roar defender Shane Stefanutto says the squad has quickly switched their focus back to the to domestic competition and to tomorrow night’s fixture against Perth Glory.
There’s barely any time to rest between matches, with the playing group holding a short pool recovery session yesterday before flying to Western Australia early this morning but their thoughts were already on tackling the league leaders at nib Stadium tomorrow.
“Maybe there were too many half-chances but personally, I can’t fault the performance of the boys [ [on Wednesday night], the enthusiasm and the work ethic, and all those things so that’s a positive and the quick turnaround now is great,” he said.
“Moving on for us as quick as we can is perfect for us.”
Tomorrow’s match also sees Brisbane come up against old teammate Mitch Nichols – and Stefanutto’s former away trip roommate – for the third time this Hyundai A-League season.
Nichols made 125 Hyundai A-League appearances for the Roar between 2007 and 2013, before joining Melbourne Victory, then J-League club Cerezo Osaka who has since loaned him to the Glory for the 2014/15 campaign.
An injury to his left hamstring kept the Gold Coast-born midfielder out of action from mid-December until last week’s 0-0 draw with Melbourne City and Stefanutto said his return to action was well-timed.
“Our boy Mitchy Nichols is starting to come back at the right time so no doubt he’ll be looking forward to seeing us as well,” Stefanutto said.
“He doesn’t mind a bit of banter out there!
“When we cross paths, I’m sure we’ll have a little giggle about something and no doubt he’ll try to nutmeg me or something like that. It’s all in good spirits.”
Following on from their 3-2 loss in Round 2, in which Irish import Andy Keogh netted a hat-trick, the only other meeting between the two sides this season finished in a 1-1 draw at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, 28 November.
Despite sitting in sixth position on the Hyundai A-League ladder, no side in the competition has claimed more points away from home (16) than the Roar and Stefanutto said there was no reason his side couldn’t get the job done over in the west.
“I spoke to the boys about this today, I think we really match up quite well against them,” he said.
“The last time we were there [Round 2 on Sunday, 19 October], although we lost 3-2, I thought we played really well that day.
“But you can’t underestimate them, they’re a dangerous team no doubt.”
The Roar squad will fly straight from Perth to Japan for Wednesday night’s AFC Champions League fixture against Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium.
Saturday, 28 February 2015
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar FC
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 6:30pm local / 8:30pm AEST
Referee: Ben Williams
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio Broadcast: Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Perth Glory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 27.Dragan PALJIC, 28.Denis KRAMAR ***two to be omitted***
Ins: 3.Brandon O’NEILL (promoted), 20.Daniel DE SILVA (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season), 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (1 week – hamstring), 13.Diogo FEREIRA (hip – 3 weeks)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.James DONACHIE, 17 Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE ***two to be omitted***
Ins: 10.HENRIQUE (returns from injury), 23.Dimitri PETRATOS (promoted), 33.Luke DeVERE (promoted)
Outs: 34.Shannon BRADY (not selected)