Bleiberg guns for Fulham

Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg is aiming to take advantage Fulham's 'rustiness' next Wednesday as he prepares his side for the English Premier League opponent.

Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg is aiming to take advantage Fulham's 'rustiness' next Wednesday as he prepares his side for the English Premier League opponent.

The Londoners have named a strong line-up for the first match of their Australian tour but Bleiberg's men have been in pre-season mode for over two months, while Fulham is only be in its second week, a fact not lost on the United coach.

"We know this is going to be a very tough game, but we also know that perhaps this is a good time to play them as it's so early in their pre-season program," Bleiberg said.

"Naturally, we will be doing everything we can to take advantage of that."

"I watched them on TV about ten times last season and they will of course know nothing about us."

"They have great players but the likes of Andrew Johnson, Bobby Zamora and Danny Murphy, etc, will be different players in a month or so when they are approaching full competition fitness."

"That's not to say that they won't be fit and sharp against us; they will be I'm sure. It's not as if players from the English Premier League sit around eating pies and drinking soft drinks for a month, so their base fitness will still be there," he said.

Bleiberg also vowed to take a positive approach into the clash, saying there was little point in trying to sit back against a team with so many attacking weapons.

"We know what a good side Fulham are and we know the very high standard of the competition they play in, but we have good players who work hard and we will be giving it our very best shot," he said.

"We will approach this game like we approach any other - with confidence. That's the mindset we have established with our players from day one and we see no need to change that."

"We have no intention of trying to close out the game and defend for our lives, that's not how we play football and we will be putting on a brave performance against Fulham."

"We will take a lot from the match and it will act as brilliant preparation for the Hyundai A-League season."

Fulham plays the Gold Coast on Wednesday July 8, before facing last season's premiers Melbourne on July 11 at Etihad Stadium. The final match of the Cottagers' Australian tour is against the Perth Glory on July 15, with Fulham expected to use all three matches to gear up for its Europa League qualifying games, which commence on July 30.

FULHAM FC SQUAD Mark Schwarzer, Christopher Baird, Matthew Briggs, Zoltan Gera, Aaron Hughes , Andrew Johnson, Edward Johnson, Toni Kallio, Diomansy Kamara, Stephen Kelly, Seol Kihyeon, Adrian Leijer, Danny Murphy, Erik Nevland, John Pantsil, Matthew Saunders, Chris Smalling, David Stockdale, Fredrik Stoor Seikkinen, Andranik Timotian Samarani, Bobby Zamora, Pascal Zuberbuhler.