United aiming for the top
THE excitement at Gold Coast United training was palpable this week, as the side prepared to make a name for itself against A-League powerhouse Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Not only excitement, but belief, according to wonder boot James Brown, who says United have the game to end the Roar's 30-game unbeaten streak.
"Every day, since day one, there has been a bit of a rivalry there between the two clubs, and there has been a real buzz at training and the boys know it is a big game and we want the three points," he told the Daily News.
"They are on a 30-game unbeaten streak, and definitely full of confidence, and it is going to be a big ask playing them at home, coming off the back of their win in Sydney.
"You always want to be versing the best team, and trying toknock them off. If we play to our fullest potential, and stick to the game plan, we can be the first team to break the unbeaten streak."
With Maceo Rigters available to debut for United tonight, Brown could start to feel a bit more pressure as the side's leading A-League goalscorer this season.
Brought into the squad to cover for Rigters' absence due to visa complications in round one, Brown has starred for United and scored the club's only two goals this season in consecutive games.
Rigters knows how to find the net as a striker, and if he becomes embroiled in a friendly battle with Brown to be the team's leading goalscorer this season, it can only mean good things for the club.
If both men can find the net tonight against the powerhouse Roar outfit, which is on a 30-game unbeaten streak, coach Miron Bleiberg will be a happy man.
Brown said he would be more than happy to start the game on the bench to make way for Rigters, but that would be a difficult decision for Bleiberg to make, considering Brown's excellent early-season form.
"On a personal note, it has been a really good start to the season," Brown said.
"But, on a team note though, we would have liked to have at least won one of our past two games. We were unlucky not to get that win against the Central Coast, and we probably should have beaten Wellington as well."
So United, a team bookmakers installed as rank outsiders for this year's premiership, are undefeated after two rounds, and disappointed not to have converted at least one of those games into wins.
"I think most people just looked at the players we lost, and from there assumed we wouldn't be much threat. But we've imported a couple of Dutch boys and made a couple of good signings from the youth, so it is a pretty strong squad," Brown said.
UNITED v ROAR
A-League, round 3: Suncorp Stadium, 8.30pm (NSW) tonight.
Youth, round 1: Cleveland Showgrounds, 5pm (NSW) tomorrow.