Bas on the brink

Gold Coast United defender Bas van den Brink was re-instated to the top squad and handed a simple brief against Adelaide last week - nullify Sergio van Dijk.

Gold Coast United defender Bas van den Brink was re-instated to the top squad and handed a simple brief against Adelaide last week - nullify Sergio van Dijk.

The Dutchman carried out his mission with aplomb - culminating with a man-of-the-match performance in the scoreless draw - but such is the talent at United, and the intricacies in coach Miron Bleiberg's gameplans, van den Brink is not guaranteed to run out against Melbourne Heart this Saturday.

But the 27-year-old, who earned just his third start for the season against the Reds after anchoring all but one of United's fixtures last season, isn't losing sleep over his on-again off-again relationship with the coach.

"That is what Miron has to do," van den Brink said.

"He picks the best team to play each game and implements his plan to get a result from the match."

Van den Brink's tactical deployment against the Reds was the first time the center-back had ever stepped into the holding midfielder role, but the blonde scrapper is more than happy to stay put.

"I am working hard to be part of the team and if Miron sees a job for me then I am willing to take up that job with as much enthusiasm as any other job," he said.

But rather than buckle under the weight of pressure to perform and hold his spot, van den Brink will be stepping out to relish every moment that he can in the thick of the action.

"I just want to play every minute and enjoy myself," he said.

"Maybe I appreciate it more this year because it hasn't been as easy for me."

And while he admits United won't be able to use their defence to attack the Heart in the same way they did the Reds, van den Brink is confident he knows what to expect from the A-League new-comers.

"The Heart will probably try and target (Gerald) Sibon a lot but not in the same way as Adelaide use van Dijk," he said.

"But you can't really compare the teams because Sibon will be sharing with (John) Aloisi a lot and the Heart use much more short passing while Adelaide play long to van Dijk."

Van den Brink has one more training session to impress before United head to Melbourne for the clash of the A-League's youngest clubs.