GCU: Rigters will fire

Maceo Rigters might have only scored just once this season, but his Gold Coast United teammates are certain it's only a matter of time before he goes berserk in front of goal.

Maceo Rigters might have only scored just once this season, but his Gold Coast United teammates are certain it's only a matter of time before he goes berserk in front of goal.

The former Blackburn Rovers striker burst onto the scene during his first two matches for United, terrorising Brisbane Roar on his debut and then putting one past Newcastle in a game he could easily have nabbed a hat-trick in.

Boasting an incredibly powerful shot, a sharp burst of pace and a full bag of tricks, he was set to take the competition by storm - but since then, Rigters has found himself in a lean patch in terms of scoring.

The downturn began when the talented 27-year-old picked up an ankle knock the week after opening his account against the Jets, when United took on Sydney FC.

Not helped by his limited pre-season, the niggling injury affected him for some weeks - and it's no surprise that, from then on, Gold Coast struggled in front of goal during their record five-match losing streak.

Rigters has also been cursed by the bad luck plaguing United this season, with many of his trademark bullets from distance rattling the woodwork or only just missing the target.

Opposition sides, who are now well aware of the threat posed by the former Dutch under-21 international, have begun to shut him down, and he had scant influence in Gold Coast's 0-0 draw with the Sky Blues on Sunday.

But his countryman, Peter Jungschlager, is confident Rigters can turn the corner - possibly as early as Friday night, when United take on Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium.

"I trust him and hopefully it comes," said Jungschlager, who played against Rigters back when the two were plying their trade in their homeland.

"He only has one goal for the whole season but hopefully on Friday, he'll get the second and third and then he'll feel more comfortable."

"When he scores, he feels better. You come into a new country and everything is new. Give him time and he will come good."

"He has had a lot of chances but he's been unlucky. The only way is work, work, work - at training, and then it comes in the games."

Usually deployed as a midfielder this season, Jungschlager was in an unfamiliar attacking wingback role against Sydney at the weekend - part of a five-man defence crafted by coach Miron Bleiberg.

The system worked well, limiting the influence of Sky Blue guns Nick Carle and Brett Emerton, and giving the side a solid platform at the back they've rarely had this season.

And better still, towering centre-half Ante Rozic is over his knee troubles and is available for selection after putting in a solid 90-minute shift in the National Youth League last weekend.

But captain Michael Thwaite, who was effective in a roving sweeping role on Sunday, said the beauty of United's new-look defence manifests itself at the other end of the park.

"I don't think any opposition coach or team can mark down that we're playing three at the back," he said.

"Our transition is quite quick and we can go from a back four to a back three with attacking wingbacks very very quickly."

"We've got the players capable of playing in wide roles - Ben Halloran, Tahj Minniecon, Golly, Chris Harold. We have plenty of weapons out wide and we need to start using them a lot more."