Miron promises no mercy

Like a caged lion waiting to be unleashed, Gold Coast United will show an unsettled Wellington Phoenix outfit absolutely no mercy on Sunday at Skilled Park.

Like a caged lion waiting to be unleashed, Gold Coast United will show an unsettled Wellington Phoenix outfit absolutely no mercy on Sunday at Skilled Park.

That's the ominous warning from Miron Bleiberg, who says his new-look squad is done with the marathon off-season and are ready to finally do battle against a Phoenix side who have had a less than desirable preparation heading into the new season.

After bankrupt former owner Terry Serepisos finally relinquished control of his beloved club last week, Ricki Herbert has been scrambling to put the finishing touches on his squad after weeks of delays and penny-pinching.

The saga has taken its toll on the players, as Phoenix midfielder Tim Brown admitted to The Dominion Post on Friday that the uncertainty surrounding the club had been proving a distraction heading into the new season.

But Bleiberg said he wasn't about to fall into the trap of underestimating the Kiwis, declaring that he has primed his troops for whatever Wellington side they face on Sunday.

"I hope (they're unsettled). I don't know, I won't bet on it," he said.

"I've prepared my team as if we're facing Manchester United - or Melbourne Victory, at least."

"We're going full steam ahead. Our players are like lions waiting to run out of the cage as soon as the door is opened. They don't care who they play."

"They've worked like mad dogs for five months and whoever you put against them, they will go for it."

"They don't care if Wellington have a new owner, or even if Clive Palmer bought the Phoenix. They will go for it."

Whilst Bleiberg is unsure what mindset the Phoenix will have on Sunday, he does know a fair bit about one of their most prized recruits - diminutive Spanish midfielder Dani Sanchez.

The 26-year-old, who played under former Sydney FC manager Terry Butcher at Scotland's Inverness Caledonian Thistle last term, spent a number of weeks on trial with United earlier in the off-season.

"In the end we decided to go with Peter Jungschlager, and I don't have one ounce of regret about it at all," Bleiberg said, "but Dani Sanchez, when he was with us, was reknown for scoring some outstanding goals."

"I just hope that he won't have one of those days on Sunday."

"If his name was Lionel Messi, not Dani Sanchez, we wouldn't have let him go. Like any player, he has his advantages and disadvantages."

"I saw both. He'll probably match up on Paul Beekmans, and you could put two Dani Sanchez, one on top of the other, and he still wouldn't be the size of Paul Beekmans. In terms of size, we have the advantage."