While Melbourne Victory may have come out of last Sunday’s defeat battered and bruised, Grant Brebner is licking his lips at the sight of his dream front third being available for Wednesday night.
Robbie Kruse, Callum McManaman, Rudy Gestede and Marco Rojas will feature and attempt to solve the club’s goalscoring crisis when the Victory goes hosts Wellington.
Brebner has not hid away from his desires to field them all attackers at once – with injuries to all four players throughout the opening two months of the season prohibiting him from doing so.
McManaman stood out as the side’s best from Sunday’s defeat, while Kruse lasted the full 90 minutes for the first time this season and Gestede came off the bench.
The trio are set to be joined by Marco Rojas who ”ticked off’’ the necessary boxes to return to the side after missing the last match due to concussion.
”We get the opportunity to field a team that I’d like to field in that [attacking] area,’’ Brebner said.
”It’s been a long time coming and we’ll have no excuses in getting balls into the right area and delivering that service and hopefully have a little luck as well.
”We’ve had injuries to certain players. Marco’s ticked off what he needs to tick off to come back in, Cal played 68 minutes and Robbie is getting fitter every game. We’ve not had the continuity of players that we’d like up there and we get that opportunity tomorrow night to field a really strong front third.’’
The inclusion of these players will be timely with the Victory finishing goalless in three of its last four matches. Moreover, the side comes into Wednesday’s match following three consecutive defeats; prompting several honest and difficult conversations during the week.
”We broke small groups yesterday with defenders, midfielders and attackers where we had tough conversations but good conversations,’’ Brebner said.
”Nobody is under any illusion as to where we’re at. No one is confused by what was said and to be fair to the players they took it on the chin and acknowledged the things that were said.’’
The problems for Brebner now lie in his defensive half with Adama Traore (hamstring), Nick Ansell (hamstring) and Storm Roux (concussion) set to miss.
Young defender Dylan Ryan will replace Ansell, with fellow youth products Aaron Anderson, So Nishikawa as well as captain Leigh Broxham in contention to start in defence.
Meanwhile, it is not as though the Phoenix travel with a clean bill of health either.
Tomer Hemed and Jaushua Sotirio will miss with hamstring and knee injuries respectively, while defender Luke DeVere is set to undergo knee surgery which will see him miss up to 12 weeks.
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