Roar have Reds in A-League sights
Flattery will get you nowhere with Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey.
Adelaide United mentor Josep Gombau admits he is a fan of his Friday night A-League opponents Brisbane but it seems that will not warrant any mercy for his struggling outfit at Coopers Stadium.
Third-last Adelaide United have not won in seven games, prompting Gombau to claim that moulding them into a powerhouse may take up to four years - if he lasts that long.
However, the Roar clearly represent what Gombau has in mind for the future judging by his glowing praise of the two-time championship winners on Thursday.
"They are the best team in the league," he said.
"For me, they are the team I like in this league. It is a good test for us."
But it seemed no sweet talking was going to prompt a hard nosed Mulvey from dishing out compliments on Thursday.
Asked if he felt Brisbane now felt like the hunted sitting with a three-point gap on top of the ladder, Mulvey said: "Absolutely wrong.
"We are going to their (Adelaide's) ground. We are hunting them."
Adelaide United have won just once in their last nine matches against Brisbane.
And the Roar have emerged victorious in their last three visits to Adelaide.
But Mulvey was focused on another stat - Brisbane have scored a league-high 15 goals to date while the Reds have conceded just as many, equal with dead-last Melbourne Heart.
"Statistics tell us that we have scored a few goals and they have conceded a few goals - one would tell there will be an opportunity for us to score goals tomorrow night," he said.
"Quite rightly they should be concerned about the strike power that we have."
Mulvey said the game may hinge on whether the Roar arrive in the right frame of mind.
"It's important we set the tempo. I have noticed they (Reds) tend to tire in the last 20 minutes," he said.
"I think the X-factor is do we turn up ready to play or half-hearted."
The Roar welcome back Irish import Liam Miller (calf) from injury.