Brisbane get Roar back for Heart clash
A punishing schedule has not stopped defending A-League champions Brisbane Roar regaining their swagger ahead of Sunday's clash with Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park.
And coach Mike Mulvey believes striker Besart Berisha might benefit most from Brisbane's much-needed shot in the arm.
Back-to-back wins, sealed for the first time this season by Tuesday night's 2-1 home win over Wellington, have lifted the Roar as they prepare for their third game in 11 days.
"The main focus this week has been recovery. It's a tough schedule," said Mulvey, who has savoured victories in two of his three games in charge after replacing Rado Vidosic.
"Australian players are not used to playing two or three games in a week.
"But there's a definite spark in them, no doubt. They have taken extra confidence from those two wins.
"We have picked it up a notch. There's a bounce in the step of a few players."
Mulvey hinted he had noticed the most noticeable change in Berisha after the Albanian marksman scored against Wellington - his first goal in a month.
"I expect him to go on a run, now that he has scored," Mulvey said.
"They have all gained a bit of self belief that maybe was lacking a little bit - we are in a good place at the moment."
But Mulvey was hardly satisfied despite Brisbane being back in the top six for the first time since October.
Defender James Donachie will be replaced by Matt Jurman against the Melbourne Heart after being sent off with two yellow cards against Wellington.
Berisha and teammates Jurman, Erik Paartalu and Shane Stefanutto have been booked four times this season.
"We need to not go too far and get yellow cards. We need to be careful there," Mulvey said.
The Roar coach said he would not look at their last start against the Heart - a week-six 4-1 thrashing.
"That's history. And I am not a revenge type of person," he said.
"On that day, Melbourne Heart just proved too good but we will see what happens this time around."