Nichols ruled out of ACL opener

Brisbane Roar will be without key forward Mitch Nichols for their Asian Champions League opener against FC Tokyo at Brisbane Stadium on Tuesday.

Brisbane Roar will be without key forward Mitch Nichols for their Asian Champions League opener against FC Tokyo at Brisbane Stadium on Tuesday.


Nichols, a substitute in Roar's Hyundai A-League draw with the Melbourne Heart on the weekend, has failed to recover from groin tightness and won't be risked at the beginning of a hectic period in the club's schedule.

But while Nichols' firepower will be missed, Postecoglou was looking forward to having A-League-suspended livewire Henrique available for the clash.

"(Henrique) is ready to go and he's looking forward to it. We would have preferred to have him out there on Saturday night (against the Heart), but obviously it does keep him fresh, so I guess that's the one bonus we do get," said Postecoglou.

"The only doubt we've got is Mitch Nichols; he's probably likely to miss Tuesday night. He pulled up a bit sore on Saturday and he's still a bit sore, so he's the only one who could potentially miss out."

Setbacks for Nichols aside, the overwhelming feeling from the Roar camp ahead of their long-awaited ACL debut was excitement.

Postecoglou, who has long said that the club wanted to succeed in the competition and wouldn't be satisfied merely with qualification, was anticipating a stern challenge from the J-League Emperor's Cup winners.

"They're a quality team. They're a good side and what we expect from a J-League side. They're typically very good, very well organised, disciplined and pretty sharp, so there's some decent challenges for us," said Postecoglou.

"Certainly our intention for tomorrow will be to be positive. I have no doubt it will be difficult, but that's the exciting bit, to see how we go."

With the exception of Adelaide United's second-placing in 2008, the A-League sides have struggled to make a great impact on the tournament, quailing in the face of superior rosters at richer Asian clubs.

But Postecoglou said that a defeatist attitude could be to blame for recent and said that his side would take a positive approach to the competition and let the chips fall where they may.

"We're not going to find out how tough it is or whether we can play well if suddenly we go into our shell and change what we do and get a defensive mindset," he said.

"One thing about our team for the last two years, we try to win every game of football all the time every time, and that's something that's held us in good stead."

"Certainly our intention will be to be positive. I have no doubt it will be difficult, but that's the exciting bit, to see how we go."