Melbourne Victory interim Head Coach Grant Brebner has expressed his disappointment in losing Robbie Kruse, but is excited by the youthful talent waiting in the wings.
Victory returns to Hyundai A-League action tonight against Western United at Bankwest Stadium, but will complete the season without the injured Kruse.
“Robbie is not involved, but someone else will be and what an opportunity they have to start their career in the A-League or supplement what they have done so far,” said Brebner.
Robbie Kruse injury
Kruse had made eleven Victory appearances and scored twice this season, before picking up a knee injury in training.
“He is very disappointed and I’m disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing Robbie playing for the club again,” said Brebner.
“Robbie was looking really good. The way he was playing, his attitude and he was leading the way up front. Others were looking to him and using that as the standard for their performances.
“But when one door closes, certainly another one is going to open. We’ve come here with a lot of young players who are all going to feature during these five games,” said the Scotsman.
Brebner is now tasked with finding a replacement for Kruse and the Head Coach has a number of players at his disposal.
“Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio is probably one of the quickest players in the team,” said Brebner. “If we want to exploit areas in behind or put some pace into the attack – Luis will do that for us.
“Lleyton Brooks is another a winger with a lot of talent on the ball. If we can get the ball to his feet he will be able to go past defenders and create some opportunities for us.”
Andrew Nabbout, Elvis Kamsoba, Marco Rojas and Kenny Athiu will also be in Brebner’s consideration for attacking positions.
Victory’s fixture against Western United is the club’s first competitive match since March 15, following the postponement of the Hyundai A-League due to COVID-19.
Brebner is aware of the attacking threat posed by Western United, but wants the Victory squad to focus on its own ability.
“We don’t envisage any surprises and their starting eleven we more or less know. They have a fantastic front three and they have a midfield pair that like to get on the ball,” said the Head Coach.
“We want to do ourselves justice. We want people to know that Melbourne Victory are getting back on track and that is what I am stressing to the players.”