Brandon Borrello to play it cool against Victory
STAYING composed in the face of immense pressure was what delivered Brisbane Roar teenage sensation Brandon Borrello his March nomination for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.
The 19-year-old striker will form a key component of Brisbane's attack against the Victory at Suncorp Stadium tonight, in a catch-up game for the February 20 wash-out.
It will be the first of two clashes between the two teams in four days.
Borrello will carry a slight knee complaint into both games but said he was feeling up to this week's difficult task.
A shining light for the Roar in a month that saw the club win only one of its five matches, Borrello started in four of the five games in March. He had one goal assist and scored the winner in the home victory over Western Sydney.
Tonight he will face livewire Victory striker and former Roar star Besart Berisha but is expected to hold his own, given the impressive recent form he's displayed.
The opposite to the aggressive Berisha, Borrello's key to success is to stay calm and composed.
"I've had players in my face before - it's just another player," Borrello said.
"You see (Roar midfield stars) Thomas Broich and Matt McKay, they're always copping tackles left, right and centre.
"Players are trying to target you because you're the danger man, but that's football."
That's not to say that Borrello has never felt nerves when being around arguably the A-League's most dangerous striker.
"He was really intimidating as a young player - you didn't want to do anything wrong around him," Borrello said of Berisha, who is the competition's third-highest scorer this season, with 11.
"When he was at the Roar, he was great - I learnt a lot off him and Thomas but now he's at another team we're not worrying about him so much."
Borrello said he was confident his knee - and his team's attacking structure - would hold up well against a quality opponent in a packed schedule this week.
"We'll play on Wednesday and see how that goes," he said. "Depending on what happens we might have to change the set-up. We might have to change the structure.
"But we're more than confident that our structure here is always attacking football, we're hopefully going to score lots of goals and keep them out as well.
"It (the knee) has come along a lot better.
"Hopefully, I can just get a bit of the swelling down. But other than that, it's been good."
ROAR V VICTORY
Suncorp Stadium, 7.40pm