Brisbane will be without skipper Matt Smith and frontliners Thomas Broich and Henrique for their top of the table clash with the Central Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Brisbane will be without skipper Matt Smith and frontliners Thomas Broich and Henrique for their top of the table clash with the Central Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, with Ange Postecoglou predicting a Boxing Day return against Gold Coast for his star trio.
The absence of the headliners, along with continued rehabilitation of goal-shark James Meyer and midfield talent Luke Brattan, leaves Brisbane with an unchanged squad to the outfit that lost 2-1 to the Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday.
The Roar's highly-publicised three-game losing skid has seen critics and fans questioning the depth of the reigning Hyundai A-League champions and a perceived lack of flair during Broich's absence is being blamed in some quarters.
But addressing media on Friday afternoon, Postecoglou was giving very little weight to the significance of the recent injuries or the significance of the recent form slump.
"Everyone gets tested with injuries at different stages. You'd be lucky if you got through the whole season without it," he said.
"It's just part of what we do and the teams that will be successful will be the ones that get through those periods best."
"All the boys who weren't available are still not available. We'll show up with the same squad we did on Wednesday night… we might change a couple in the starting XI."
"The fact that it's a nine-day break they could all be available (for Boxing Day). I'll doubt they'll all play, but at this stage they're all recovering well with that as a (targeted) point of return."
Goalkeeper and leadership group member Michael Theoklitos was more willing to admit to the impact of the absences, but backed the Roar youth to make the most of their opportunities, starting with Saturday night's blockbuster.
"You've just got to adjust. They're big losses, but it opens up an opportunity for the younger boys to come in and take that. They're all working hard, so they're going to get their chances through the year and it's come now," said Theoklitos.
"They know how Ange wants us to play, so hopefully they can step up and do well."
"We've missed Matty and Thomas in the past and won. Obviously now we've lost three games so people tend to highlight that more so now than before."
"For us it's just the same as usual… obviously we're going to get them back soon, so I'm sure we'll be fine."