GCU short on players

In the midst of a player shortage crisis, Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg has been left to rue a lack of patience which has seen some of his star imports struggle to overcome recurring injuries.

In the midst of a player shortage crisis, Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg has been left to rue a lack of patience which has seen some of his star imports struggle to overcome recurring injuries.

United will travel to Etihad Stadium to face Melbourne this Friday with only 13 of its top 22 available (two of those are goalkeepers) as three players sit out due to suspension while no less than six remain sidelined by injury.

The Brazilian trio of Robson, Milson and Jefferson make up half of the wounded - a recurring theme for the Hyundai A-League newcomers.

The talented Robson has been limited to seven matches by knee ligament damage, Milson's troublesome quad has kept him off the pitch for more than a month now, while Jefferson could only get through the first-half when he made his debut in Round 13.

Coach Bleiberg can only wish that he had more time to acclimatise his hand-picked charges.

"The funny thing in football is the word patience doesn't apply. Had we been patient in general and taken the Brazilians in for one year to let him adjust the in the second year we could reap all the fruits," Bleiberg said.

"They came in the middle of the pre-season after the physical part, and that probably took a toll on them because they missed the foundation of the pre-season."

"I know next time I deal with imports coming in I will deal with it differently, we are a new club and we are learning as we go."

Bleiberg rates Robson highly and is not willing to again risk his star midfielder, preferring to make certain he is fit for the business end of the club's inaugural campaign.

"Robson knows how to play with his bad knee and protect himself, but last time he was caught unaware by a defender from behind," Bleiberg said.

"This time I told the medical staff not to rush him. I am resigned to having to play without him, when he is ready 110 percent I want him back, but at the moment I don't even want him to train - just complete rest."

Robson is expected back on the pitch by Round 22; Milson remains a week-to-week prospect with a minor strain that won't go away; and Jefferson is booked in for MRI scans which will reveal a likely timeframe for him.

On the bright side for United, Ivory Coast Quicksilver Adama Traore looks set to return in the next fortnight.

In further good news, defender Sebastiaan Van Den Brink has had his four-match suspension reduced to two matches by the Disciplinary Committee.