Curtis praises competition

Gold Coast United defender John Curtis has praised the structure of the Hyundai A-League for providing a fascinating conclusion to the season as his side prepare for their run home starting with the Perth Glory at Skilled Park on Monday evening.

Gold Coast United defender John Curtis has praised the structure of the Hyundai A-League for providing a fascinating conclusion to the season as his side prepare for their run home starting with the Perth Glory at Skilled Park on Monday evening.

As an Englishman and former Manchester United star, Curtis is all too aware of the gap in quality between first place and last in the Premier League - but since swapping snow for Australian sun, he has entered a league in which just about anything can happen on any given day.

The visiting Glory are on the hunt for a finals spot mere weeks after losing a dismal seven games in a row, and Gold Coast sit in fourth place but within striking distance of second spot - and both Perth and United will be desperate for victory on Monday.

But that also means Curtis and Gold Coast will have to be on their toes as they welcome the Glory to the glitter strip, and they will be fresh after a 12-day break since an emphatic 4-2 win over Adelaide in their last outing.

"The whole league is so tight so it's no surprise to see anyone anywhere - the salary cap means that everybody can beat each other which is a good thing. It makes for a good competition and I think the organisers got that right," Curtis said.

"We can't afford to go into any game lightly and we'll treat this like we have any other game. They're all important games now - games against Brisbane, Sydney or Perth are all for three points and they all matter."

"You could argue that while Brisbane have a lead in first place, they've played more games than everyone else. If we win all our games in hand it won't be too big a lead anymore."

United come off a classic 2-2 derby day draw against league leaders Brisbane which showed that Miron Bleiberg's men can match it with the best - but the Roar's second goal came from a controversial penalty involving Curtis.

Brisbane's Kosta Barbarouses appeared to infringe the Englishman as he fell into the corner of the box and with the red-hot Kiwi about to hurl over the top of him, Curtis instinctively put his hands up to protect his face and gave away what Bleiberg called a "soft" decision.

"I certainly didn't deliberately trip him up and I thought it was very harsh but so be it - we get on with it and a point away from home against the team at the top of the league is not such a bad result," Curtis said.

"It was a good game for everyone to watch and a great one to play in, with a big crowd and good atmosphere but it was a shame about the conditions. I've played in rain like that in England once or twice but in fairness, it doesn't rain in England like it does here."

"Like Miron said, we didn't play to our best and we still got a point and we can take confidence from that."