Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou insists Saturday’s crunch match against Brisbane does not carry any extra significance for him.
The Victory coach led Brisbane to two successive A-League titles during his time in Queensland, but upset many of the club’s fans when he left to take up the Victory post at the end of last season.
The two sides met in round two, and Thomas Broich lit the fuse ahead of that meeting when he insisted Postecoglou’s assistant at Brisbane and present Roar coach Rado Vidosic had been the brains behind their back-to-back championships.
Postecoglou fired back on the eve of the clash, and again after his side suffered a 5-0 thumping, but he was keen to downplay the significance of the rivalry ahead of Saturday’s meeting at AAMI Park.
“No, it’s another game where we need to win,” Postecoglou said before training at AAMI Park on Friday.
“Every three points is pretty crucial. Look, it’s Brisbane, and as I’ve said previously I had some great times up there.”
When asked about the hostile reception he received from the Roar fans in October, Postecoglou said he had ‘moved on’ but still seemed to be harbouring some resentment over the encounter.
“Some of them weren’t (too friendly), but they probably took their cue from the club – that’s the message the club wanted to send out. I think some supporters took that on board, but some supporters were great to me,” he said.
“That was my first game back at a ground where I had some great memories. There was a couple of ways they could have addressed that as a football club and they chose to try and sell some more tickets, so there you go.”
Postecoglou was unfazed by queries over the fitness of Socceroos duo Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan, after the former raised concerns about his workload in the recent East Asian Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong.
Thompson described the program of four games in a week as ‘hard yakka’, but Postecoglou laughed off his concerns.
“I think that’s just Archie making excuses for training poorly yesterday,” Postecoglou said.
“Just take a look at him now, he’s running around like a two-year old as he always does so he’ll be fine.”
Postecoglou confirmed youngster Andrew Nabbout would make way for Thompson’s return, while he also expected left-back Adama Traore to return to the side after he missed last week’s 4-2 loss to Adelaide.