All is forgiven for Besart Berisha at Brisbane Roar, it seems, despite the Albanian international missing a match that can seal the A-League minor premiership due to his latest red card.
German import Thomas Broich has not only defended Berisha’s tackle against Sydney FC that earned his marching orders but believes Saturday night’s Suncorp Stadium clash with Melbourne Victory will help them prepare for life after the star striker.
Berisha was sent off for his studs-up tackle on Sebastian Ryall in their 1-1 draw last Friday night.
It ensured the fiery forward will miss his eighth game this season – but Saturday night’s clash looms as not just any game.
A-League officials are believed to be planning to have the minor premiership trophy on hand so the Roar can raise it in front of Suncorp Stadium fans if they seal the honour.
A win over second-placed Victory – who trail by nine points – will also clinch a place in next year’s AFC Champions League.
Berisha copped a death stare from coach Mike Mulvey as he trudged off the field against Sydney FC but Broich on Tuesday believed his teammate was “a bit unlucky”.
“It looked like his tackle was not directed towards the player,” he said.
“Besart came flying in and looked intense but I don’t think he was going in to hurt the player.”
Broich even looked forward to seeing how the Roar attack would respond without their talisman.
No doubt he will be hoping for a repeat of the Roar’s 3-0 thrashing of the Victory on January 4 at AAMI Park when Berisha was also sidelined.
Berisha will again miss out on taking on the club he will join next season on a two-year deal worth more than $1.5 million.
“Who knows maybe it’s even better that way,” Broich said of Berisha’s absence.
“We need to get ready playing games without him in the future.
“We played some of our best football against Sydney (with Berisha sidelined).”
Broich claims the Roar have taken a similar “out of sight, out of mind” attitude towards the minor premiership.
“It’s not about winning this game no matter what and holding up a trophy.
“We are building momentum for finals and improving our game.
“This is one more step up the ladder.”
The Victory will have to back up from a Champions League clash with Yokohama F. Marines on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Roar have confirmed young defender Corey Brown will miss four weeks of football after having his appendix removed on Monday.
The 20-year-old was rushed to hospital after complaining of stomach pain at Monday’s training session.
“Corey will be rested and his return to training will be guided on the advice of the club’s medical staff,” Brisbane head physiotherapist Tim Oostenbroek said.