GCU goalfest a lure for fans

A satisfied Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg hopes Saturday night's 5-1 thrashing of the Newcastle Jets is enough to lure the record crowd in attendance back to Skilled Park.

A satisfied Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg hopes Saturday night's 5-1 thrashing of the Newcastle Jets is enough to lure the record crowd in attendance back to Skilled Park.

Much has been made of Gold Coast's less than desirable attendances over their two seasons in the Hyundai A-League, but 14,738 people were on hand to take in a commanding performance by the top-two aspirants - the highest number since the club's foundation.

They all took up the offer of a free ticket from owner Clive Palmer who threw the gates of the Robina stadium open, ostensibly in a fundraiser for the recent floods in southeast Queensland, and Bleiberg held up his end of the bargain by treating them to a goalfest.

"It's very important that we saved the 5-1 for the occasion with a lot of people here that may be here for the first or second time and don't come regularly to football games," he said.

"It's a type of show that I think would have left a good taste of our beautiful game. It was an excellent evening and I'm really happy for the people."

Gold Coast vice-captain Michael Thwaite echoed his boss' thoughts.

"I'm very proud. It's good when you get a result like that in front of 15,000 people; it makes a big difference. For those half-yards where you have to make up ground or win a tackle or header or go on a counter attack, it lifts us so much," Thwaite said.

"It just goes to show there should be a team here on the Gold Coast."

While declaring his side as still being in the race for second position on the ladder, despite sitting four points behind Adelaide and Central Coast in fourth spot, Bleiberg was quick to put the game - and his side's season - in perspective.

"When we lost to the Fury earlier in the season I said those three points are going to haunt us," Bleiberg said. "Sometimes you lose a game and you have a gut feeling that is going to chase you for a long time. But Adelaide will play the Mariners next week and if it goes our way and it's a draw, then we can talk (about second spot). If one of them wins, it gets harder."

Effusive in his praise for hat-trick hero Bruce Djite, who has undergone a renaissance of sorts in recent weeks, scoring six goals in three games, Bleiberg was at his usual best comparing his side to a "water purifying plant" that takes "dirty" players and makes them clean.

"Bruce came with his head down from Turkey and now if I was a scout he'd be in my book for any European league. There was one team meeting where I told Bruce that he came from Europe but he plays like he's 18 years old - no confidence, not taking people on, just passing the ball backwards. Even I can do that at my age.

"I put him down a bit and I told him to use his physique and his fitness. He's an intelligent guy and very open-minded. He doesn't mind criticism and he's always thriving to learn. In my book he could have scored four or five tonight."

"Look at Bruce, look at Smeltz, look at Bas van den Brink. He should be called up for the Dutch national team, the way he played in midfield. I'm very proud as a coach that we're taking players (to the next level)."