Vidosic steers clear of mind games

12 October 2012 06:36

Brisbane Roar coach Rado Vidosic senses there are mind games at play as tensions simmer ahead of Ange Postecoglou’s return to Suncorp Stadium.

After Besart Berisha declared his former coach was in his crosshairs and Thomas Broich said Vidosic had always been ‘the brains’ behind the club’s two A-League championships, a bristling Postecoglou hit back on Thursday night.

He told Brisbane radio station 4BC that he was surprised at some of the comments emerging from his old club and found them ‘distasteful’ and ‘disrespectful’.

An assistant for seven years before taking over at the helm of Brisbane this season, Vidosic moved to calm relations with his predecessor ahead of a Saturday night showdown that threatens to boil over.

He suggested that Postecoglou’s reaction may be intended to rattle some of his old charges.

“People try to do things from a psychological point of view that maybe can unsettle the opponents. That’s (how) I look into it,” Vidosic said.

“People try to get on each other’s nerves. It’s normal gameplay. We’ve seen that in the past and it’s going to happen in the future. It’s nothing to really worry about.”

If it was ever in doubt, Postecoglou can now expect a predominantly negative reception from Roar fans with some still unhappy with the manner of his departure.

Mere hours before signing on with Victory in April, he told supporters at a ticker-tape parade celebrating Brisbane’s second consecutive Grand Final win: “Why not, let’s make it three.”

Vidosic said the players that Postecoglou walked away from now play for him.

“Ange has been here and we were very successful under him. But Ange is gone,” he said.

“Ange takes a lot of credit – it was his team, I was his assistant, I did what he asked me to do.

“We had a great relationship. I was disappointed that he left, so I wish him good luck – not tomorrow, but for the rest of the season.

“(The players are) still playing for the same club, the same colours. Whoever the coach is, they play for the new coach. There should be absolutely no sentiment for anyone.

“If it is Ange or someone else on the sideline, it doesn’t matter – we want to win this game and we’re going to win the game.”

Erik Paartalu, whose career has thrived since he was brought to Brisbane by Postecoglou and deployed in a key role in central midfield, said it was time to get on with the job at hand.

“It was bound to happen. Obviously Ange is coaching another team now. We’ve all moved on,” Paartalu said.

“That’s the way football works. I’m not interested in making comparisons between the two coaches. I have great respect for both men.”

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EN-AU

Postecoglou: Roar trash talk ´ridiculous´

12 October 2012 06:27

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has labelled remarks aimed at him by Brisbane duo Besart Berisha and Thomas Broich as tasteless.

A frustrated Postecoglou, largely regarded to be the mastermind behind the Roar’s back-to-back championship winning seasons in 2011 and 2012, labelled the pair’s comments, following his defection to Melbourne Victory, ‘a bit ridiculous’.

During the week, Berisha, who has been embroiled in controversy before, vowed to send Postecoglou back to Melbourne a loser while Broich inferred new coach Rado Vidosic, Postecoglou’s right-hand man for both titles, had been ‘the brains’ behind Brisbane’s title successes.

“It wasn’t (the comments) to my taste,” Postecoglou said.

“It just got a bit ridiculous. I’m more than happy for people to have their opinion… but I’m not going to be used as anyone’s tool for motivation.

“From my point of view, I don’t understand it or why they needed to do it.”

Postecoglou said there was no ill-feeling towards Brisbane on his part and said nothing would diminish his memories and achievements during three record-breaking seasons at the club.

“Nothing will taint my time up there in terms of the memories but I just felt this week it got a bit out of control,” he said.

“I expected them to come and say that I wasn’t even living in Brisbane at the time, I was living in Melbourne.

“I was looking forward to the trip, I had some great times and some great memories there and the fans were fantastic to me and we went through some tough times as well as the good times.

“I’m sure for 90 minutes they (the fans) will want me to lose but hopefully either side of that I’ll get the chance to acknowledge them and them me.”

Tellingly, Postecoglou will face his old side without three of his starting 11, who are away on international duty: Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan with Australia, and Marco Rojas with New Zealand.

Striker Danny Allsopp will come in for Thompson in a straight swap while Theo Markelis and Spase Dilevski are expected to replace winger Rojas and defender Milligan respectively.

“Danny will come in. We’re missing three players this week which is not ideal from our point of view but that’s the price you pay for having quality players in your squad,” Postecoglou said.

“It gives the opportunity to some other guys, Danny’s worked really hard in the off-season and he deserves his chance.”

Brazil Serie A wrap: Gremio move up to second

12 October 2012 04:54

Gremio extended their unbeaten run and moved into second on Thursday, while Coritiba condemned lowly Palmeiras to yet another defeat.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s Gremio ran out 3-1 winners at home to a Sport Recife side attempting to avoid relegation.

Defender Anderson Pico handed the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time courtesy of his first goal since 2010.

Gremio doubled their advantage thanks to a 52nd minute effort from young striker Leandro before Marquinhos made it three five minutes later.

Hugo converted a penalty with 10 minutes remaining but it proved nothing more than a consolation goal as Gremio leapfrogged Atletico Mineiro into second.

In a fiercely contested encounter which saw 10 yellow cards distributed at the Estadio Palestra Italia, Coritiba recorded a dramatic 1-0 win to hand Palmeiras their fifth defeat in seven league games after Deivid netted an 89th minute spot-kick with the match seemingly destined for a draw.

The result moves Coritiba eight points clear of the drop zone, while Palmeiras are firmly entrenched in the relegation scrap with nine points separating them from safety after 29 league games.

Zaccheroni excited by France test

12 October 2012 04:03

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni believes Friday’s friendly against France will provide an opportunity to measure how far his side have come.

The 2011 Asian Cup champions sit atop Group B in AFC World Cup qualifying and are on track for a spot in Brazil.

Speaking ahead of Japan’s visit to the Stade de France, Zaccheroni is eagerly anticipating their clash against Didier Deschamps’ men.

“I am very curious,” the former AC Milan, Inter and Juventus coach said.

“We have asked to play with a very strong team and in my opinion France are among the best five teams in the world.

“If we want to improve, we need to be able to handle these kinds of matches.”

Zaccheroni will have to cope with a list of injuries but says he has faith in his fringe players.

He will be counting on Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa to shine with CSKA Moscow playmaker Keisuke Honda doubtful with a calf injury.

“Well, you have to live with that in football (injuries to players),” he said.

“It has always happened throughout my career to have someone missing out. In the qualifying round for the World Cup I had to do without (Yuto) Nagatomo and Honda, while in the last games we played without many players who were disqualified.

“This time I am sure we will perform well because I have faith in my substitutes.”

Meanwhile, France coach Didier Deschamps expects the friendly match to be a difficult encounter.

The former Marseille coach said Japan were well-organised and defensively strong under Zaccheroni’s guidance.

“I don’t know if Japan play in a particular way, it’s just a well-organised and rigorous team,” Deschamps said.

“Maybe it’s because they have an Italian coach – that could explain it. It’s a team which collectively can produce a lot of sprints during a game, they play with strong intensity, so collectively when they don’t have the ball, everybody runs, they defend all together.

“We’ll have the ball with a lot of defenders in front of us, deep on the pitch. We are prepared. We often play these kind of games.

“We’ll put them under pressure, we’ll try to score as many goals as we can, but we have to be careful. Japan is not just a defensive team, they have some good forward players, who run fast, have mobility, they are able to be dangerous too.”

Caicedo wary of attacking Chile

12 October 2012 04:01

Ecuador forward Felipe Caicedo expects Chile to play on the counter-attack when the teams meet in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Reinaldo Rueda’s team sit third in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying ahead of the crucial encounter in Quito.

They will be without Antonio Valencia for the clash at Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa after the Manchester United attacker was sent off against Uruguay.

Lokomotiv Moscow’s Caicedo, 24, said he expected Chile to sit back and try to hit his team on the break.

“We are going to play at home and we have to prevail but it will be a difficult match,” he said.

“We have to play with patience because all the squads that play against Ecuador close their defences and wait for us to attack.

“The bad thing is that Valencia won’t play this match because he was sent off in the last one. It will be a shame not to have our best player but we have to develop with other players that are available.”

Caicedo, who was signed by Manchester City in 2008 but was unable to hold down a first-team place, has scored in Ecuador’s past two qualifiers.

He said the current Ecuador team was one of the best the country has ever had.

“We have a strong attack – very fast. Our players are young, ambitious and I think in that aspect we have improved a lot comparing to other Ecuador squads,” Caicedo said.

“We also have an extraordinary team in defence.

“Generally, we have improved in all areas. Although Ecuador has had extraordinary national teams in the past, if this actual one is not the best of all, we are close to it.”