Melbourne Victory Head Coach, Grant Brebner, is backing Rudy Gestede to play a dynamic role in Saturday night’s Melbourne Derby at Marvel Stadium.
Gestede scored his third goal in Victory colours last weekend, levelling the score with Western United before the opposition’s late winner.
Ahead of Victory’s bitter clash with its sky-blue neighbours, Brebner believes Gestede can be a handful off the ball and provide chances for other goalscorers.
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“We saw from the first goal last week that maybe the focus was on Rudy, which allowed Callum McManaman to get into the box and score a goal,” said the Head Coach.
McManaman’s opener against Western was the Englishman’s second for Victory, combining with Storm Roux and finishing with a volley inside the penalty area.
“He has a presence, Rudy, he’s certainly not going to be a player we play route-one for, or only look at in the box.
“We understand his strengths and there’s a lot of players around him that should use him as a foil,” Brebner said.
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Brebner’s squad is strengthened by the inclusion of central defender, Nick Ansell, who will be tested by Melbourne City’s energetic front line.
“Occasionally at times we need to play beyond that and maybe skip a line,” Brebner said.
“We have fantastic players in that front third and we’re always about getting the ball to them as quickly as possible.
“We know what’s coming at us, they have an aggressive press and we need to be good enough to play through it,” he said.
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Broxham and Shotton
Captain, Leigh Broxham, has also been given the green light for the fixture in Docklands despite picking up an injury last weekend.
“Leigh has made a full recovery. We’ve had a good week’s training ahead of what will be a big game for us,” Brebner said.
However, Victory will be without the presence of Ryan Shotton who continues his return to fitness.
“He has progressed and he’s back on the grass this week, so he’s ahead of schedule,” said Brebner.
“Hopefully we can see more towards the end of next week in training.”