Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey has challenged his players to reward their fans by bringing their away form home when they play an under-strength Adelaide United on Saturday.
The A-League leaders go into the match in great fettle after defeating Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory on the road and with Shane Stefanutto and Besart Berisha both aiming to return from injury.
Mulvey wouldn’t confirm on Friday whether former Socceroo Stefanutto or star striker Berisha would be in the starting line-up given the Roar’s impressive results without them.
But, recalling the 2-0 loss to Newcastle Jets when last at Suncorp Stadium, he urged his players to treat home fans to the kind of flowing football they’ve displayed in Sydney and Melbourne.
“We owe our fans big time because we played poorly against Newcastle here,” said Mulvey.
“If we do that tomorrow, that will be three consistently good games on the trot and that’s what we’re after.”
The Roar received another boost with 33-year-old defender Stefanutto signing a one-year contract extension on Friday after youngster Dimitri Petratos agreed to a two-year extension earlier in the week.
“One thing I’ve expressed to the players this week is we’re getting some lovely press at the moment and not to get caught up in the hype of it all,” Mulvey said.
“It would be very easy for me to slot Bes (Berisha) straight back in and it would be very easy for me to maintain the same 11.
“We’re at the stage now where we’re questioning whether we bring back our star striker, that tells you we’ve actually achieved something there.
“We’ve got that depth and we’ve got that quality.”
It’s a different story for Adelaide, whose depth will be stretched on Saturday with Bruce Djite (groin), Cirio (hamstring), Osama Malik (suspension) and Jake Barker-Daish (Australian under-22 duties) all unavailable.
The eighth-placed Reds signed Ryan Griffiths midweek to cover for some of their personnel losses and will be hoping to continue a good record in Brisbane where they’ve lost just two of their past dozen matches.