Bleiberg: Ladder irrelevant

The stakes are high but coach Miron Bleiberg won't let bottom-placed Gold Coast United's ladder position enter his thinking ahead of their crunch match with Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The stakes are high but coach Miron Bleiberg won't let bottom-placed Gold Coast United's ladder position enter his thinking ahead of their crunch match with Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Friday night's game presents a golden opportunity for Bleiberg's men to chip away at the gap between themselves and ninth-placed Adelaide, which currently stands at four points - but it's a do-or-die proposition.

A win will of course make it one point, but a loss could make it as much as seven if Wellington beat Melbourne Victory - which at this stage of the season could make it very difficult for Gold Coast to reach the finals, even with the Hyundai A-League's form rollercoaster taken into consideration.

In that situation, some coaches might set up for the draw and avoid the loss rather than roll the dice and play for the three points - but not Bleiberg.

With a young, hungry squad in tow and a firm belief in their ability, the Gold Coast boss said he will leave his side's fate in the hands of the football gods and go for the win.

"We're not looking at where we are. We will go to each game and play it to the best of our ability," he said.

"We will go for the win in every game because we believe we can win. Some we draw, some we lose."

"Whatever will be the picture after, will happen. The position on the ladder is irrelevant to our situation at the moment."

"We've stopped looking at the ladder because we can't go backward anymore. If we lose to Adelaide we stay in the same position. We're the only team that can't drop places, that's the advantage of being last."

"If we minimise the gap, good - we can move forward. If not, we will wait for the next week."

Gold Coast look set to do without new recruit Jonas Salley, who has been suspended for an incident with Dimi Petratos in the 0-0 stalemate with Sydney on the weekend.

The Ivorian was excellent as part of a back three that kept the Sky Blues scoreless, helping to end Gold Coast's run of five successive defeats.

"For sure we'll miss him. We brought him in because we want to play him and in my books he was one of the better players against Sydney," Bleiberg said.

"I thought in my naivety he had quite a clean game, except for this incident which escaped me and many others."

Luckily there is a clear replacement on the sidelines - Croatian centre-back Ante Rozic.

The big man has been barely sighted since injuring his knee against Central Coast in the second week of the season, but could easily replace Salley should Bleiberg go with the same system he used on Sunday.

"Ante Rozic is the next one in line. We intended to play him anyway. If Salley was clear to play, we would have done a different reshuffle but now it's a straight swap," Bleiberg said.

"He played 90 minutes with the youth team but he struggled in the last 15 minutes, in my book. Since then he's had another full week of training."

"If Ante gives me a good 70 minutes I will have Dylan McGowan on the bench."