Young guns must keep firing: Roar captain
It was not quite a case of "Besart who?" after Brisbane returned home from a Kwame Yeboah-inspired 1-0 win over defending A-League champions Central Coast on Monday.
But Roar captain Matt Smith hoped young guns like Yeboah kept firing so star striker Besart Berisha would not have to be rushed back from injury.
Yeboah was the name on everyone's lips at the Roar after the substitute smashed an unstoppable drive past outstanding Mariners goalkeeper Liam Reddy in the 89th minute on Sunday.
The 19-year-old scored just a couple of minutes after taking the field, notching his first A-League goal in his sixth appearance for Brisbane.
Smith backed coach Mike Mulvey's call that Yeboah would need to stay grounded with the Roar's help ahead of Sunday's trip to Newcastle.
However, he encouraged the likes of Yeboah to maintain their stunning form as the depleted Roar squad prepared for yet another test of depth.
The jury is out on whether Berisha, Irish import Liam Miller (calf) and veteran defender Shane Stefanutto (hamstring) will be fit for the Jets clash.
The Roar looked set to be sweating on their fitness with Matt McKay and Ivan Franjic set to miss the Newcastle trip due to Socceroos duty.
But Smith believed it would not be an issue if their Roar youngsters came of age.
"I am hoping we can keep winning so he (Berisha) doesn't have to rush back," he said.
"I know we have a small squad but it has been working very hard for months.
"Everyone talks about the players that we are missing and, don't get me wrong - they are massive players for us.
"But it's no surprise players are taking their chances and stepping up."
Still, Smith hoped Yeboah kept a level head.
"There's an awful lot he still needs to learn but he is learning from the senior boys around him," he said.
"I am pleased he got his first A-League goal and hopefully he stays grounded.
"We have a good group culture here at Brisbane. We help each other out and Kwame is a good kid.
"I am sure he will have a big impact on our season this year."
Smith seemed to be one of the few people not surprised the depleted Roar topped the A-League table.
"If anything, I have expectations that we should probably be better," he said.
"I am not surprised; it's what I expect."