Bleiberg urges belief
Gold Coast United is being urged by coach Miron Bleiberg to maintain pre-season belief that it is the best team in the Hyundai A-League ahead of Saturday’s clash with Melbourne Victory.
Gold Coast United is being urged by coach Miron Bleiberg to maintain pre-season belief that it is the best team in the Hyundai A-League ahead of Saturday-s clash with Melbourne Victory.
The match looms as the biggest test for the new side as it runs headlong into the reigning premier which is starting to find some form after a slow start to the season.
While fully aware of a lack of form in his camp, Bleiberg insists that Gold Coast is still travelling nicely in its maiden voyage.
"If you judge us on our last game it doesn't look good, but if you judge us on where we are on the ladder I don't think we should be too disappointed," Bleiberg said.
"We are a new club, we have had five away games and we are on top of the ladder."
"We have by far the best goal difference, so we are where we are supposed to be."
"It's very important for a sportsman in order to achieve something to have a belief in their ability, and we have to keep having the belief that we had before Round 1, that we can be the best team in the competition, and we can beat everybody and become the champions."
With its attack blunted by injury and suspension there could be a temptation for United to play conservatively against Victory, but as usual Bleiberg has vowed to attack.
"We are playing at home and backing up after a loss, we shouldn't be reluctant to attack, if we don't attack now when will we attack?" he said.
"Obviously we will try for the three points, but we have to be smart, it's not attack in stupid way, it's attack in a calculated way."
Bleiberg's plans were thrown into further disarray this week with Jess Vanstrattan battling a groin injury and Zenon Caravella succumbing to suspected ostetis pubis.
Caravella will be rested from the match and while Vanstrattan is likely to take the field, third string keeper Robbie Bajic will be on standby to make his first appearance of the season.
Another concern for Gold Coast is Victory dead ball specialist Carlos Hernandez.
The Costa Rican international has scored three times this season and as he starts to run into form will demand plenty of attention from United defenders.
A win on Saturday would see United retain its place at the summit of the ladder, while a loss could see it fall to third and give Victory a chance to jump into the top four.