Brisbane’s McKay targets derby return

Brisbane Roar are set to receive a huge boost ahead of next week’s blockbuster home game against Gold Coast United with Matt McKay on track to return from a knee injury.

Brisbane Roar are set to receive a huge boost ahead of next week’s blockbuster home game against Gold Coast United with Matt McKay on track to return from a knee injury.

The Roar favourite returned to training last week with his left knee heavily strapped but is unlikely to be fit enough to travel to Melbourne this weekend, instead focusing on the derby against the Gold Coast.

McKay’s return will be welcome news for the Roar, who remain just a point from top spot despite losing a number of key players to injury and international call-ups.

“The boys did well last week so I wouldn’t change a thing,” McKay said. “I don’t want to come back not close to full fitness because I don’t want to let any of the boys down.

“I’m targeting the Gold Coast. I’d be stoked to take any part in that game.”

The tireless midfielder said the team’s achievement in staying in touch with the league leaders was “amazing”, underlined by a solid all-round performance in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Sydney.

“The boys that have come in have done extremely well,” he said.

“Doddsy (David Dodd) is playing well; he’s been a workhorse. Danny (Tiatto) does a great job.

“Charlie (Miller) is hitting form again and getting fit. That kind of touch in there is really good and then you’ve got Ricky (Henrique) who drops in and helps out as well.

“If we can grind out some results before we get everyone back, we’re going to be good come the end of the season.”

McKay, who has been playing non-stop since the beginning of last season, took the chance to recover mentally as well as physically during his rehabilitation, unwinding with a brief holiday in Europe.

“I get depressed and miserable here if I’m not playing so there’s no point,” he explained.

“It was a rehab thing but it was also a chance to have a break. I didn’t get a chance to have a break in the off-season, I went straight to China and straight back for the Celtic game.

“So it was a good opportunity to have a break and come back with a bit of hunger.”

Brisbane Roar will play Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium this Saturday night before returning to take on Gold Coast United at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, October 11.

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