Massimo Murdocca is happy to be back in the Brisbane Roar starting 11 against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.
But Murdocca says the team is running out of chances to make something of season 2012-13.
The energetic midfielder told reporters after training on Friday that changes made to this week’s line-up were necessary considering the Roar’s recent poor form.
With the departure of powerhouse Erik Paartalu to Tianjin Teda this week, Murdocca will likely start alongside Luke Brattan in midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Roar captain Matt Smith, one of the team’s few consistent performers this season, is in doubt with a troublesome hip, and coach Mike Mulvey is monitoring new recruit Jade North’s fitness to determine whether he can play.
Murdocca said he had no problems with the coach’s decision to leave him out of the side despite good form earlier in the season.
“I think as a professional you’ve got to understand that when a new coach comes in it’s a fresh start for everybody and the coach has got his ideas and his philosophies,” Murdocca said.
“Unfortunately for me, the first couple of weeks I wasn’t a part of that and it was up to me to put my head down, work hard and get back into his plans.
“I’ve done it this week and hopefully I’ll stay there,” he said.
Brisbane reached a low point in last week’s loss to Newcastle, according to Murdocca.
“We’ve made a few changes, probably needed just to freshen up the team a bit,” he said.
“Last week probably wasn’t the best performance. It was well below par, probably the worst performance I’ve seen for a long time here.
“I’m not surprised about the changes. We need to do something. We’re at the crunch time of the season now.”
Against Newcastle, there was a distinct lack of connectivity between defence and attack, something which Murdocca said the team has been working on this week.
“It’s all about just staying together out there. You can’t have two sides playing. You can’t have the defence on one side and the attack on the other,” he said.
“It’s definitely something we’re trying to work on at the moment; just trying to keep the whole team together nice and compact and if we do that this weekend I’m pretty sure we’ll have a much better performance than last week.
“Our chances are running out so we’ve got to start taking them. It always starts at home. You’ve got to get your points at home and there’s no better way to do it than this weekend.
Murdocca said Paartalu’s departure had hit the squad hard.
“We’re all very disappointed,” he said.
“He’s been a massive player for us for two years and you don’t want to see a player like that go. But he’s going on to bigger and better things hopefully so we can only be happy for him.”