Gold Coast’s Robson doubtful but Traore set for debut

Gold Coast United will be without Brazilian striker Milson for Saturday’s clash with North Queensland Fury after both succumbed to troublesome groin strains.

Gold Coast United will be without Brazilian striker Milson for Saturday’s clash with North Queensland Fury after both succumbed to troublesome groin strains.

Also doubtful is midfielder Robson, who will undergo a late fitness test tomorrow morning on a knee injury picked up in last week’s 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar.

The good news for United concerns Ivorian left-back Adama Traore, who has now received his international clearance and will make his debut against the Fury.

Steve Fitzsimmons is also expected to start his first game of the season in place of Matt Osman and Michael Thwaite is tipped to step into the role vacated by Adam Griffiths, with Kristian Rees slotting in at the back.

After starting their season with an impressive away win in Brisbane, Head Coach Miron Bleiberg says he and his players are well equipped to handle the weight of expectation that is being heaped on his team.

“There is always pressure when you are in football. It’s an historic moment (first home game) so naturally we are a little anxious to do well,” he said.

“There has always been expectation on us and it will continue, so we just have to deal with it. The players are excited about every game and there is a buzz at the moment, which could be seen at training today.

“I think every team we play will be fired up and want to beat us. I hope Fury play good football and approach the game in a positive way. I believe we have a solid defence that can cope and if we don’t concede goals we won’t be losing games.”

Gold Coast United skipper, Jason Culina, said his side’s focus this week would be on playing their natural game, conceding that Fury still remained something of an enigma, having lost their opening fixture to Sydney FC despite a spirited comeback from 2-0 down.

“They’ll be a bit of an unknown quantity as the season is only in its early days, but focussing on our own performance is the most important thing,” Culina said.

He added: “We’re the home team and the onus is on us to attack, which is what we intend to do. Whatever style they decide to play we’ll have to adapt to it and make sure we play our own game. The aim is to create plenty of chances and score some goals.”

Have your say