Old mates turn foes

After a week on the sidelines Gold Coast talisman Shane Smeltz is fired up for Friday night's clash against his former club Wellington, the first time he has played against the Phoenix since crossing the ditch to join United.

After a week on the sidelines Gold Coast talisman Shane Smeltz is fired up for Friday night's clash against his former club Wellington, the first time he has played against the Phoenix since crossing the ditch to join United.

While Smeltz still has a strong respect for the club he won't be apologising if United, after a string of loses, takes out its anger on a struggling Phoenix side.

"We certainly want to go out there and prove something this week, things haven't been quite going our way," Smeltz said.

"If we are on fire and we are fresh and play the game we know how to play then someone will pay the price, like we did against the (North Queensland) Fury."

"Everyone knows when we are at full strength and we play the style of game we play then we are very hard to stop."

"I have a lot of feeling for the club, but I'm going out there to do everything I can to get three points for Gold Coast." he said.

Gold Coast will be back to it's attacking best for this weeks match, with the fab four - Smletz, Jason Culina, Joel Porter and Robson all set to start. This will be the first time the lethal combination has lined up together since United's round one win against Brisbane.

However, tightening its defence is the main objective for United coach Miron Bleiberg after his charges let in six goals in its last two matches.

"The main emphasis this week will be on the defence, we have conceded six goals in two games, which is un-heard of for a team on top of the ladder," Bleiberg said.

"The aim is not to concede, it doesn't matter if it is a penalty or with ten men, it is all excuses."

"It is un acceptable if you want to aim for something, we have to reach situations where we concede less than a goal per game."

"We are in a better position than any other team, so our fate is in our hands."

"If we do well, we will continue to be first if we continue to do not so well, at least we have the advantage."