In-form Brisbane Roar midfielder Luke Brattan says he is looking forward to re-establishing his burgeoning midfield partnership with Liam Miller this Friday night against A-League strugglers Adelaide United.
Miller has been out of action for the past month with a torn calf muscle, however the former Manchester United and Celtic player is expected to return to the match day squad against the Reds at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Following a month of injury setbacks, Brattan said Miller’s return was a “big boost” for the top-of-the-table Roar as they enter a stretch of away games that will see them play only one further home game before the end of the calendar year.
Brattan said that Miller added an extra dynamic to Roar’s already impressive midfield structure that boasts Socceroos Matt McKay and Ivan Franjic.
“In the pre-season it was brilliant with (Liam) and Matty in there,” Brattan explained.
“Even though Ivan has come in and he’s done a really good job, it’ll be a big boost for the team to get Liam in there and it will be really good for me as well.”
While drawing praise himself for a series of mature performances this season, Brattan said his game benefitted from playing alongside the 32 year old, who represented Republic of Ireland on 21 occasions before moving to the A-League two seasons ago with Perth Glory.
“Liam’s a quality player and I think it’s an honour to play alongside him,” Brattan elaborated.
“Even in the pre-season when he first came in he just gelled straight away and that’s the sign of a quality player.”
However, Brattan agreed it was slightly strange to play alongside a player that once ran around for a club he supports.
“Manchester United has been one of my favourite clubs since I was little, so knowing that he was there is unbelievable.”
“Speaking to him he’s such a good guy, down to earth, and he helps you a lot on the field as well as off the field. He’s great for our squad.”
Injury doubts still surround defenders Shane Stefanutto and Jade North for the clash against Adelaide, while goalkeeper Michael Theo is expected to make his return from a shoulder injury.
Brattan added that the club’s younger players had proved their worth during Roar’s run of injuries.
“With the players we have that are out and we’re still getting results, it’s just a credit to the young boys coming in and doing the job,” he said.