Perth Glory captain Jacob Burns says he will maintain his robust approach as he targets a return to competitive action on Saturday.
The 34-year-old missed last weekend’s defeat at Melbourne Victory due to suspension having accrued five yellow cards in as many games, taking his tally to 32 in 81 A-League appearances.
But he has no intention of toning down the physicality and will stick to his style in this weekend’s clash with Melbourne Heart.
“To be fair, I’m getting tired of even talking about it,” he said. “There’s more to my game than that.
“I’ve said it enough times, that I play the game in a manner that’s served me well throughout my whole career.
“If I went into games thinking about cards hanging over my head, I wouldn’t be the same player, so I won’t change a thing about my game.
“People that play in my position make more tackles than anyone else and you’re on that fine line when you’re in there and amongst it.
“I’m also the captain and the leader of the club and I feel a responsibility to ask the questions and sometimes referees don’t like that, but I’m still going to go about my business.”
Burns was equally bullish when it came to defending his side’s run of four games without a win, insisting that no major changes are required in order for last season’s beaten grand finalists to get back to winning ways.
“To be honest, the group is disappointed off the back of not getting maximum points from a couple of home games,” he said. “But we’re not disappointed in the manner that we’re playing.
“People that understand football will agree that we’ve dominated just about every game that we’ve played in and created numerous chances, so it’s just a matter of time before those start hitting the back of the net.
“I don’t think much needs to change, really.
“It would be different if we weren’t creating chances and teams were getting in and scoring loads of goals against us, but that’s not the case.
“We’re full of confidence, but we’ve set the bar high for ourselves on the back of last season.
“We want to be up there and amongst it and the middle of the table is not where we want to be, but we’re confident that come the business end of the season, we’ll be right up there.”
The former Leeds United and Barnsley man looks certain to come straight back into Glory’s starting eleven for the Heart clash, but revealed that he may not be joined by regular central midfield partner Liam Miller.
Irishman Miller is still struggling to overcome the back problem that forced his late withdrawal from the squad ahead of last Friday’s meeting with Melbourne Victory.
“Liam didn’t train today,” Burns said. “But if he is fit, that’s fantastic because he’s been in fantastic form, if he’s not, we’ve got guys who are more than capable of coming in and doing a good job.
“Liam wouldn’t put himself out there under-done, he’d want to get it right and if it’s to be this week, so be it and if not, I’m sure we’ll see him in the near future.”
And Burns signed off by paying tribute to club chief executive Paul Kelly, who announced his intention to quit his post earlier in the day.
“The admin and the way the club is run is for the guys above and on the board,” Burns said. “But whichever way he goes, we wish him well and thank him for the support he’s given us during his time here.
“It’s never an easy role at any club and he’s done a fantastic job.”