GCU sweat on star duo

Gold Coast United are sweating on the fitness of attacking pair James Brown and Tahj Minniecon, with the two youngsters missing Thursday's training session ahead of Saturday night's clash with Melbourne Victory.

Gold Coast United are sweating on the fitness of attacking pair James Brown and Tahj Minniecon, with the two youngsters missing Thursday's training session ahead of Saturday night's clash with Melbourne Victory.

The Qantas Young Socceroos duo were bedridden with illness as the rest of their team-mates prepared for what is shaping up to be an exciting contest against the Victory and one that coach Miron Bleiberg is counting on them taking part in, given Brown's hot streak of form and Minniecon's reputation as a performer in Melbourne.

"I don't know if they slept together or ate together but both of them have the same symptoms, but hopefully they will be right for tomorrow's training session," he said.

"They're both in my plans to play in Melbourne - Browny obviously was one of the heroes last week, and Tahj flies all the time at Etihad Stadium like an Etihad aeroplane, but we have players to cover them so it doesn't worry me, because we have the depth."

Victory were the last team to beat Gold Coast back in late August, and given two convincing wins in their two games at part-time home Etihad Stadium it will be a difficult encounter for Bleiberg's men - especially if Brown and Minniecon join Bruce Djite and John Curtis on the sidelines.

Last time United travelled south to face the Victory they lost 4-0, fielding a team of youngsters as the senior side was ravaged with suspensions and injuries, but Bleiberg is not shying away from the challenge and said a loss for his side would be 'unacceptable'.

"It's an important game and it will tell us where we're standing. The fact that we haven't lost for eight games speaks for itself," he said.

With the tussle for finals spots starting to take shape, Bleiberg mused with typical style that perhaps his side would be next proclaimed as potential Hyundai A-League champions.

"Before the season started there was obviously one champion - Sydney, nobody else," he said. "And then after Round 5 there was one champion, Perth. Then in Round 10 everyone was saying 'Who is going to catch Adelaide?' And now, who is the new champion? Brisbane Roar."

"Let's not forget that Victory and the Roar have played two more games than us so let my imagination fly - imagine that we catch up the two games and drop the difference with the Roar to two points and then come Boxing Day, we beat the Roar and the sky is the limit."