Djite returns to Adelaide

Two years ago, they were cheering on his every move - now Gold Coast United striker Bruce Djite will be on the opposite end of heat from the Hindmarsh Stadium faithful come Friday night's blockbuster against Adelaide United.

Two years ago, they were cheering on his every move - now Gold Coast United striker Bruce Djite will be on the opposite end of heat from the Hindmarsh Stadium faithful come Friday night's blockbuster against Adelaide United.

Djite was a fan favourite in his 32 appearances in a red shirt, scoring 11 goals in a lethal attacking combination with Nathan Burns and winning the A-League's Young Player of the Year Award for 2007/08 before moving to Turkish club Gençlerbirligi SK.

But now cleared of the hamstring injury that has plagued him for the last month and in the squad for his first return to Hindmarsh since leaving the Reds, he admits a degree of sentimentality for his old club - but that will have to be pushed to the side on Friday night.

"The fans down there were fantastic when I was there and it'll be interesting - I've never really had this in my career so I'm looking forward to it and hopefully it will be a great game," Djite said. "It's going to be good to get back there playing but it's going to be a different feeling in the yellow and blue of Gold Coast and not the red of Adelaide.

"It's probably the game of the round this week and the team's been doing amazingly well up until now and hopefully we can keep that going down at Hindmarsh."

Gold Coast may have passed one massive test in Sunday's 3-2 win away to the Central Coast Mariners, but another awaits them in the form of second-placed Adelaide, with a result in Friday night's match vital if Miron Bleiberg's men are to continue their ascent up the ladder.

If it wasn-t hard enough already, three key players that have served as the backbone of the team in their run of 11 unbeaten matches will be missing - gloveman Glen Moss is out with the ankle injury that he sustained in Gosford, defender Michael Thwaite is ruled out with his own ankle complaint from two weeks ago and marksman Joel Porter will miss the trip to his hometown after the hamstring strain that forced his late withdrawal from the win against Central Coast.

Porter's injury means that Gold Coast fans will again miss out on seeing the Porter/Djite combination up front that has promised so much, but injury to both strikers and Djite's late arrival has restricted them to sharing the park for just 110 minutes all season.

"I just saw (Porter) earlier today and I said 'The week you come back, I'm going to take it easy in training!' because we just seem to be swapping over; as soon as one of us gets better, the other gets injured," Djite said. "We're having a bad run with injuries at the moment but every club in the world has these sorts of challenges and that's why we have a squad of 23-odd players.

"We've got a fantastic squad and whoever is called upon to perform, I'm sure they'll do that to the best of their abilities and that should be enough. We'll try and get that right and hopefully when the business end of the season comes around the team's gelling well and everyone's fit and ready for the finals."