Roar captain Matt McKay says his team’s confidence is on the rise after three consecutive wins and they are looking forward to the challenge of taking on Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
Speaking in Brisbane today after arriving home following Friday night’s 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners, McKay said the Roar’s team structure was really starting to “gel”.
“We’ve had new signings come in, players coming back from injury and I was away with the Socceroos, so it has taken a little bit for us all to get on the same page again,” McKay said.
“Our form has been up and down a bit in the last few weeks but to pick up three consecutive wins while we were working our way through that is fantastic.
“But we have to continue that improvement and lift our game again against the Victory.
“With Bes (Berisha) coming back to Brisbane for the first time since his move to the Victory, it’s going to be a fantastic game. We’ll be ready for the challenge.”
McKay said he had no hesitation in nominating new signing Andrija Kaluderovic to take the Roar stoppage time penalty that sealed the win over the Mariners after Jean Carlos Solorzano had netted earlier from the spot but left the field injured.
“Andrija is a confident player and it was a good opportunity for him to get off the mark and score his first goal. That eases the pressure a bit for him in the coming games,” McKay said.
Andrija said he had no nerves in stepping up to the spot.
“It was important for me and the team that I scored and I wanted to show that I have the skill level and mental strength to handle such a situation,” he said.
“This helps build my confidence and the team’s confidence in me.”
Although he only played a cameo performance against Central Coast, Andrija said his short time on the park made him even more determined to work hard for Starting XI selection against the Victory.
“I understand now the significance of us getting into the top six so we must continue to improve and collect points,” Andrija said.
“I have seen a lot of quality on the field in the matches I have watched since arriving here so I know we have to continue to improve to have the chance to defend the Championship.”
In-form Solorzano – his goal last night was his fifth for the season – arrived back in Brisbane with his hamstring heavily strapped. He requires a scan on the injury and faces the prospect of several weeks on the sidelines.
In better news on the injury front, Henrique is progressing well in his recovery from a calf injury and could return to full training this week.