Porter to return for GCU

Gold Coast United's attacking headaches have subsided somewhat with the news that hard-working forward Joel Porter is all set to line up in Saturday night's Round 8 battle with reigning Hyundai A-League Champions Melbourne Victory.

Gold Coast United's attacking headaches have subsided somewhat with the news that hard-working forward Joel Porter is all set to line up in Saturday night's Round 8 battle with reigning Hyundai A-League Champions Melbourne Victory.

Porter is a timely inclusion for a Gold Coast side weakened by the suspension of top scorer Shane Smeltz and injuries to midfield maestro Robson and goalkeeper Scott Higgins as it attempts to reverse last weeks 3-0 drubbing on the Central Coast.

After missing three weeks with a calf injury, Porter who trained solidly on Tuesday and Wednesday, will step out from the shadow of Smeltz, whose goal-scoring displays have received all the attention this season.

"I wanted to play last week, but they wouldn't let me, so I'll definitely be putting my name forward this week," Porter said.

"After the first three or four games we were playing well as a team and it was just the wrong time to get injured I guess, but I'm just looking forward to getting back and playing 90 minutes."

Porter, 31, is yet to score in five matches for United, but will be looking to open his account against a physical Victory side lead by defensive enforcer Kevin Muscat.

Melbourne's uncompromising style will be nothing new for Porter, who plied his trade in England's tough League One competition last year, scoring 23 times for Hartlepool.

"Obviously Melbourne are the champions from last year, they have a fantastic side and defensively they are very physical which is something we are getting used to coming up against."

"A lot of teams are trying to play physical against us because we are a very good ball playing side, I guess that's the way they feel they can get around us by being physical and getting in our face, Melbourne is not going to be any different."

While attacking responsibilities now fall on Porter's shoulders he is confident the men in yellow can cover the loss of Smeltz, drawing comparisons to Gold Coast's ability to cover Qantas Socceroo Jason Culina whilst he was away on international duty.

"It's going to be a miss that Smeltzy is not there, but as a team I think we can try and play well without him, we played excellent without Jason, so I guess we can play just as well without Smeltzy," he said.

Further news on the injury front, coach Miron Bleiberg has moved to fill the gap on his roster created by the absence of Daniel Piorkowski by signing one of the defender's old team-mates, Mark Byrnes.

Byrnes, a former Melbourne Victory player, has penned an initial four-week contract after arriving on the Gold Coast last Monday evening.

The 27-year-old defender was a stand-out performer with NSW Premier League outfit APIA Leichhardt Tigers last term and was recommended as a ready-to-use injury replacement player by Bleiberg's Assistant Coach, Paul Okon.

When he kitted up for his first United training run, Byrnes renewed old dressing room acquaintances, not only with Piorkowski, but also with Jess Vanstrattan and Jason Culina who were international team-mates at under 17 and under 20 level.

"I feel really sorry for Daniel but these things happen in football and he knows that," Byrnes said.

"It's opened a bit of a door for me so now I have to make the most of it and do well while I'm up here. We'll have to see what happens after that."

"But it's a great opportunity for me to get back into the top flight and I'm delighted to be here. I've been away from the Hyundai A-League for a year and a half so it will be nice to be back at this level again."