Brisbane Roar manager Mike Mulvey has indicated there is more to come from pocket rocket Henrique after the diminutive Brazilian netted a brace in Roar’s 3-0 win over Melbourne Heart on Sunday in Brisbane.
Affectionately known as the “slippery fish”, Henrique scored the opening two goals in a sterling second half performance at the top of the Roar formation after he was repeatedly stifled throughout the opening stanza in a midfield role.
Speaking post match, Mulvey said Henrique’s performance vindicated his view that the 28 year old, whose three goals this year make him the Roar’s leading goal scorer, is best deployed as a central attacking option.
“He wasn’t in his best position for us in the midfield in the first half and it did cause a few problems, but once we put him central he scored within two minutes and I’m really pleased for him,” Mulvey said.
The switch sparked the Roar attack into life early in the second half, Henrique’s opening strike coming shortly after the restart when he snuck in behind the Heart line, controlling well with his chest before steering his shot home from 10 yards.
His second again showed his ability to slip under the radar in the penalty area to effectively seal the win midway through the second half, tapping in after a Dimitri Petratos strike drew a parried save from Heart shot-stopper Andrew Redmayne
The haul continues Henrique’s extended return from pre-season injury, a constant theme for the former America Mineiro player since he joined Roar in 2009, and Mulvey said he expected more from Henrique as the season progressed.
“He’s a bit of an enigma because he’s been injured for a good deal of the last couple of years and missed too much football. But we’re slowly getting him ready.”
“But as you could see he was running on empty for the last five minutes before we brought him off. We got off in time, so he should have a good rest now and be ready for next week.”
Following repeated assertions that he believes Henrique is best deployed in a central forward role, Mulvey explained his decision to start him in midfield.
“To be perfectly honest, I expected Melbourne Heart to come and sit back and play on the counter, so my theory was that he wouldn’t have to expend so much energy in the game,” Mulvey said.
“But when Melbourne Heart flipped that over and they actually played very aggressively with a high press, he was having to go deep for the ball and get forward.”
“It nullified the effect that I thought he would have because I thought it would’ve been a very tight game in their half where we would have to break them down.”
“So that was the reason why we (played Henrique in midfield) in the first half and obviously we made changes at half time.”