Frank Farina will adopt a cautious approach to tomorrow night’s match against Melbourne Victory, with the defending champions desperate to avoid a second home loss in a row in the meeting with Brisbane Roar.
Both teams will be looking to get their first points on the board in the Hyundai A-League after losses in the opening round last weekend.
The results might be seen as a shock for two of teams considered by many as frontrunners in the competition, but Farina said it was a sign of how close the league was going to be this season.
“I predicted before anyone kicked a ball that it’s going to be very tight,” the Brisbane boss said.
“There’s not much between all the teams in the league so it is important to try not to fall behind but if you get a good run as we did last year you can put points together.”
Farina admitted his surprise at the Central Coast Mariners’ win at Etihad Stadium last week, but warned his squad would face a more difficult task to get the same result this weekend.
“If anything they (Melbourne) will be pretty wound up, I think, to try and turn that around,” he said.
“It’s their second home game so they’re going to desperately want points.”
Despite praising the successful game plan of the Mariners in stifling the Victory attack, he said the Roar would stick to their usual style of play as they chased their first win of the season.
“It’s very difficult to try to do something and then if you do fall behind you’ve got to change anyway,” he said.
“We’re going to be cautious, as we normally are. We’re not like a bull in a china shop early on, but we’ve certainly got the players that can play quickly once we get possession of the ball.”
One of those players will be Michael Zullo, who has been ruled fit enough to travel to the Victorian capital, but will be restricted to a role off the bench.
Joining him on the pine will be Charlie Miller, also overcoming injury, and Roar Youth goalkeeper Matt Acton, who will take the place of flu-struck Griffin McMaster.
Farina said he had confidence in 17-year-old Acton to do the job if required.
“He played all of last year with the youth team,” he said. “He’s been playing in the QSL as well so, if called upon, he’s got to do the job.”