Brisbane defender Ivan Franjic is keen to make his return from a stomach strain against Central Coast – but Roar coach Mike Mulvey won’t let him.
Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey says Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic is gagging to return from a stomach strain in Sunday’s A-League clash with Central Coast at Suncorp Stadium – but he won’t let him.
The ladder leaders will welcome back star striker Besart Berisha from suspension and may yet unleash new signing Jean Carlos Solorzano in the weekend top four clash, depending on the Costa Rican’s international clearance.
But Mulvey has put a line through Franjic’s name – much to the recovering defender’s disappointment.
Franjic is set to miss out along with fellow Socceroo Matt McKay (ankle) despite making all the right moves at training.
“Ivan just asked me `can I play 20 minutes this weekend’ so that’s a really good sign for us,” Mulvey told reporters on Friday.
“We won’t let him, but he’s keen.”
Mulvey was also not tempted to use McKay despite scans clearing him of an ankle fracture.
“Matt is a real long shot. I won’t risk him. There is a lot of football to be played this season,” he said.
Mulvey said he may not know Solorzano’s availability until match day.
“He’s a chance but we may not know that until kick-off,” he said.
“I am not shaking in my boots waiting for it to happen.
“If he does (receive an international clearance) that’s good.
“But if he gets a clearance it doesn’t necessarily mean he will play – I will weigh up our options.”
At least Mulvey was encouraged by Berisha at training after missing last round’s 2-1 win over form side Wellington which ensured a five-point ladder lead over nearest rivals Western Sydney.
“I thought he looked sharp. It has been his best week at training in quite a while,” he said of Berisha who faces home fans for the first time since announcing he’ll link with Melbourne Victory at season’s end.