Panta denies off Thwaite spat

Gold Coast United enforcer Steve Pantelidis has dismissed suggestions of a rift between himself and team-mate Michael Thwaite after an on-field disagreement during last weekend's win over North Queensland Fury.

Gold Coast United enforcer Steve Pantelidis has dismissed suggestions of a rift between himself and team-mate Michael Thwaite after an on-field disagreement during last weekend's win over North Queensland Fury.

The defensive pair exchanged a heated words in the midst of battle and had to be held apart by team-mates, but Pantelidis says any animosity was quickly doused moments after the final whistle.

"We had a chat about it and it was sorted within a couple of minutes," Pantelidis said.

"I think it's been blown up a little bit. I've known Thwaitey since our under 20s days in the national team and I sat next to him on the plane on the way back so we were best mates again straight away."

"It just goes to show we're very disciplined and if people don't follow instructions we pull each other up."

United boss Miron Bleiberg said the scuffle was "brilliant" and showed the passion his troops put into their performances.

"It was purely professional. Michael is in charge of the defensive line to keep the opposition offside, and Panta broke the line so Michael was upset with him," Bleiberg said.

"Panta told him that he won the header, so both of them were right, the outcome was good, we didn't concede and they both have a bit of fire in the belly."

"What would you prefer as a coach, a team that doesn't care or a team that cares about following the instructions that you gave them?"

Saturday-s match against Melbourne Victory marks the first time Pantelidis will return to Etihad Stadium after leaving Victoria at the end of the 2009 season.

He said he is looking forward to returning to his old stomping ground where he made 53 appearances for his former club. . "I was suspended last year so it-s the first time I-ll be going back to play against the boys. We've got something to prove there," he said.

"They've been playing really good football in the past few weeks so they'll be tough and it's going to be a good challenge. We've got to be solid at the back, solid in midfield and hopefully score one or two against them, get three points and move up the ladder."