Bleiberg: Not good enough

Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg says he was 'disillusioned' with his side's 2-1 loss at home to North Queensland Fury on Wednesday night and revealed the injury crisis continues to worsen ahead of Sunday's match against Melbourne Heart.

Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg says he was 'disillusioned' with his side's 2-1 loss at home to North Queensland Fury on Wednesday night and revealed the injury crisis continues to worsen ahead of Sunday's match against Melbourne Heart.

Defender Steve Pantelidis will almost certainly miss the match after a sickening collision with the Fury's Panny Nikas forced him off the field and straight to hospital with a broken nose and a possible broken cheekbone, and midfield dynamo Zenon Caravella will be in a race against time to prove his fitness after suffering a corked leg late in the game.

The two will join a host of other first team players on the sidelines, with Bleiberg expecting Jason Culina and the suspended Dino Djulbic and James Brown to return but with John Curtis, Michael Thwaite, Glen Moss and Tahj Minniecon less than likely to take part and Joel Porter a definite exclusion, Gold Coast will have their work cut out for them if they are to turn around their fortunes.

But Bleiberg made no excuses for his team's performance and expected far better showings from his senior players.

"I knew that we were coming in with an undermanned team but the Fury played on Sunday, so I thought we would be good enough to beat them," he said. "But the Fury gave a very brave performance and were on shaky ground at the start of the game, exactly as we planned, but once we let them equalise that was the end of it."

"I usually finish a game and I go home with a bright mind and I know exactly what's right, what's wrong and what I'm going to do in the next game. But I'm a bit disillusioned at the moment. It was so bad and a few players, without mentioning names, let me down badly today."

"Maybe we need a bit of a shake. To lose to a team like the Fury - not that they're a bad team, but they are not better than us and we had three days more preparation than them - is like a slap in the face."

Bleiberg justified the surprising choice of rookie Jerrad Tyson in goal over established number two Scott Higgins by saying he expected Tyson to have a feel for North Queensland after training with them for a month on loan earlier in the season.

"I thought he had inside information - things like Ufuk Talay's free kicks and David Williams shooting from distance. But I was proved wrong and in the end we got nothing," he said.

"The guy is working hard and I thought if we had an opportunity at home against the bottom team, that's maybe the game to put him in. He is the future and Higgins is the past, and Jerrad had his debut now and if I need another goalkeeper I'll always have him."

As for the other youngsters in United's makeshift eleven, Bleiberg gave mixed reviews.

"Ben Halloran was not good enough. He didn't give me what I wanted him to and maybe he has to play more in the youth league," he said.

"Josh Brillante did relatively well at right back. I can't remember David Williams doing much except for the goal and when he did he was on Adama (Traore). I took a gamble and I think he did well."

"Zac Anderson came on and was strong and good and he probably will give me more."

Bleiberg also lamented the missed opportunity to bridge the gap between United and league pacesetters Adelaide and Brisbane, and said his side may well pay for Wednesday night's showing later in the season.

"Sometimes there is no justice in football but today there was and it's very disappointing - those three points, somewhere along the line, will cost us," Bleiberg said.

"Last year we finished third and we were two or three points away from second spot. These are the type of points that we will pay for in the end."

"The better team on the day won. We had a golden opportunity to close the gap on Adelaide and the Roar but we weren't good enough. We were playing at home against the team at the bottom of the league and that's what we produced."