A wounded Brisbane Roar have welcomed the prospect of their depth being tested by Harry Kewell’s return in Sunday’s home A-League clash with Melbourne Heart.
The Roar are still counting the cost of their 1-0 last round loss to Melbourne Victory in ex-coach Ange Postecoglou’s A-League farewell after Irish import Liam Miller went down with a calf complaint.
Brisbane’s decision to recruit 20 full-time players and not the maximum 23 this season has already come back to bite, with Miller set to join striker Besart Berisha (hamstring), big name recruit Diogo Ferreira (groin), Kofi Danning and George Lambadaridis (knee) on the sidelines on Sunday.
The thought of Kewell (whiplash) returning to inspire a win-less Heart this weekend would be enough to ensure sleepless nights for Roar coach Mike Mulvey.
But Roar defender Shane Stefanutto said it sounded more like a dream.
“I want the marquee players to play,” he said.
“They are great for the league, great for the game. I want Harry Kewell to come up against us. They are great to match up against.
“I do hope Harry is ready. He’s a legend of our game.”
Ex-Socceroo Stefanutto also wondered why questions had already been raised about their depth.
“It’s been a focus of certain people saying that we don’t have a strong enough squad, but I have a lot of belief in our squad,” he said.
“I am looking forward to seeing the players who step in, we have a lot of faith in them. It’s exciting.
“There’s a couple of injuries and people say ‘what are the Roar going to do this week’ but I am looking forward to the game already.”
Ladder-leader Brisbane’s season-opening winning run came to a shuddering halt with the last round loss but Stefanutto said his side were hardly shattered by the experience.
“The boys are in a pretty good mood to be honest. We are disappointed to lose but we went down there and had a crack at them,” he said.
“We tried to play our style but we came off on the wrong end.
“To be fair I think a draw would have been a fair result in a game between two pretty good teams but we move on.”